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Seizure of party drugs rises sevenfold this year

There has been a sevenfold rise in drug seizures in 2017 compared to last year. The data revealed by the Mumbai police’s Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) shows that the value of the party drugs seized in 2017 is roughly seven times that of the value of those seized in 2016.Data suggests that while drugs worth Rs 1.86 crore were seized in the entire year in 2016, drugs worth Rs 12.50 crore have been seized this year 2017 till December 15.More notable is the seizure and demand of high-profile party drugs like heroin and LSD, which are imported through the darknet using bitcoins, said police.The LSD haul has increased from 116 dot papers last year to 1,615 this year, while that of heroin has risen from 1 kg to 2.14 kg, which is worth almost Rs 3 crore.The ANC said that due to their sustained action on MDMA manufacturing units, which is the source of the supply of party drug M-Kat, the latter’s availability in the market has taken a hit.However, the demand for other party drugs started increasing and more heroin and LSD found its way into the city.”MD had replaced high-profile drugs like cocaine and heroin as it is manufactured in India itself and has a huge demand in the local market. But since the crackdown on its manufacturing units, other drugs’ supply started increasing. The origin of these drugs is out of India. For drugs like LSD, the suppliers use Darknet, which is alarming because all transactions take place in the virtual space using bitcoins,” said a senior police officer.MD, which is a component of the M-Kat, also known as meow-meow and mephedrone, is usually in high demand considering its easy availability and cheaper rate. In the year 2017, MD peddling saw a sharp rise, increasing from 3 kg to 33 kg (worth Rs 6.6 crore).”The increase in seizures is owed to sustained action against drug syndicates operating in the city.There is a change in the trend of drug supply after our crackdown on MD suppliers and manufacturers. We are continuously cracking the whip on drug peddlers and targeting suppliers,” said Shivdeep Lande, Deputy Commissioner of Police (ANC).

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Foreigner carrying Rs 4 lakh worth of drugs arrested in Goa ahead of Christmas celebrations

Ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations, Goa police said they have seized drugs worth Rs 4 lakh from a foreign national after a raid in Candolim.Calangute Police Inspector Jivba Dalvi said that information was received from sources that a foreign national would be coming to Candolim to deliver a consignment of drugs before Christmas Eve.He said that the foreign national, identified as Jerry Alex of the Ivory Coast, was caught around midnight on December 20.”A search was conducted and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) worth Rs. 2.40 lakh and MDMA (Methylene dioxy methamphetamine) worth Rs. 1.50 lakh was seized from him,” said Dalvi.The official said that a case had been registered against the accused under relevant sections of the National Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

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Not much headway made in Rajiv Gandhi murder conspiracy probe: SC

The Supreme Court today said the CBI-led investigation in the larger conspiracy behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi does not appear to have achieved “much headway”.The apex court referred to the reports filed before it by the CBI and observed that the investigation by the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) could be “endless”. The MDMA is headed by a CBI official and comprises officers from IB, RAW and Revenue Intelligence and other agencies. “The MDMA is investigating the larger conspiracy. From CBI reports, it doesn’t seem that there is much headway. So this enquiry could be endless,” a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi said.The top court also arrayed the Centre as a party in the plea filed by one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The bench fixed the matter for hearing on January 24. The apex court had on November 14 asked the government to respond to a plea of the convict, A G Perarivalan, seeking suspension of his sentence till the CBI concluded its probe into the conspiracy behind the making of the belt bomb that killed Gandhi and several others.Also readRajiv Gandhi assassination: Convict’s mom appeals to Centre, Sonia GandhiThe court asked the Centre to clarify its stand on the plea by Perarivalan, whose death sentence was earlier commuted to life term by the apex court. In his plea, Perarivalan has told the court that he was held guilty for supplying two nine-volt batteries which were allegedly used in the improvised explosive device (IED) that killed Gandhi on May 21, 1991, but the probe by CBI-led MDMA relating to the IED was still going on. The convict has said he has spent 26 years behind bars in connection with the case, while the Tamil Nadu government has already decided to set him free by remitting the remaining portion of his sentence.Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.This was perhaps the first case of suicide bombing which had claimed the life of a high-profile global leader. The Centre had earlier filed in a sealed cover a report on the investigation being carried out on the conspiracy aspect behind the making of the bomb that had killed Gandhi.The apex court had on August 17 asked the Centre and CBI to apprise it of the probe being carried out on the conspiracy aspect behind the making of bomb after Perarivalan had claimed that this aspect was not being probed properly. The apex court had on February 18, 2014 commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment, along with two other condemned prisoners — Santhan and Murugan — on grounds of a delay of 11 years in deciding their mercy pleas by the Centre.

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Gang supplying drugs online in exchange of bitcoin busted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Police have stumbled upon an internet network supplying contraband drugs to youths and parties in the Capital and NCR. Senior officer said the entire syndicate works online and the payments are done in the form of Bitcoins. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been asked by the police to ensure such transactions are stopped.Police have arrested two men with drugs purchased online. They were circulating drugs including LSD, MDMA, MDA, Ketamine, Methamphetamine, and amphetamine, largely to rave parties.The syndicate came under the police radar after information was received by the Crime Branch’s Narcotics cell that such a gang was involved in supply of party drugs. On October 29, following a tip-off about a person named Kamal Kalra, a resident of Rohini, a raid was conducted and he was arrested with 100 pills of Ecstasy (MDMA), a psychotropic substance. The entire operation was conducted under the supervision of Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Alok Kumar.During interrogation, Kalra disclosed that he had procured the contraband from a person he contacted through phone. “Kalra said the man used to call him using different identity each time. The suspect’s mobile phone call details were then analysed and the police team zeroed in on one Mahesh Goyal, a resident of Dwarka. He was identified as the supplier of drugs and on Kalra’s instance, Goyal was arrested with 20 gm of raw MDMA,” said Rajesh Deo, DCP, Crime, adding that the commercial quantity of Ecstasy/MDMA is 10 g, as per the NDPS Act.Goyal disclosed that it was during a party in Chennai that he found out that such drugs could be obtained online. “Interrogation revealed there are sites on Deep Net where these drugs are available. Further, the payments are being received in the form of ‘Bitcoins’ – a worldwide currency system. One Bitcoin equals more than Rs 4.7 lakh. On payment of Indian rupees, the equivalent amount of ‘Bitcoin’ is provided to the Deep Net market places. The matter has been taken up with the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to ensure that such transactions are stopped,” Deo said.HOW THE SYNDICATE WORKS:On ‘Deep Net’ or hidden web, there are sites where drugs are available.
In order to access these websites, one needs a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPN can be used through software on a computer or mobile phone to encrypt all of the internet traffic.
It will also hide the information if one is using a ‘Tor browser’ to access the dark web.
To access the Deep Web, an encrypted network that exists between Tor servers and their clients, one needs a Tor browser.
A Tor or The Onion Router is a software that enables one to browse the internet anonymously.
Most VPNs are simple to install and use, and can be downloaded in just 2 or 3 clicks. They can then be connected to a server using ‘OpenVPN’ protocol.

KCR wants thorough, transparent probe into drugs racket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today directed officials to conduct a thorough and transparent probe into the drugs racket busted here early this month. Rao, who held a meeting with officials on the probe, said the government is keen on nipping the drugs menace in Telangana in the bud, according to a release from his office. Dismissing allegation that the Telugu film industry has been singled out in the investigation, Rao said the government would only punish the guilty. The menace of drugs is not rampant in Hyderabad and the government is conducting a thorough probe to eliminate the probelm when it is still in early stages, Rao said. He announced that the government would give a prize of Rs 1 lakh to those who provide information on evils like drugs, illicit liquor, hookah centres and others. Quoting data provided by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the officials, at the meeting, told Rao that Telangana is not among states where substance abuse is high. The officials said 12 people from the film industry and 27 others have been examined so far. Twenty-two people, including two foreigners, have been arrested in connection with the racket, according to the release. They said drugs have been found to be coming to Hyderabad from countries like Spain, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria, the Netherlands and Colombia. The officials also said those using drugs are being treated as victims, the release said. The racket, which came to light in first week of July, involved supply of high-end drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). The investigators suspect film personalities, employees of MNCs, school and college students were among clients of the drug peddlers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tel HC rejected actress’s prayer for lawyer’s presence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Hyderabad High Court today rejected actress Charmee Kaur’s plea seeking presence of her advocate during her scheduled questioning tomorrow by the Telangana’s Excise department probing a massive drug racket busted earlier this month. Justice A Rajsekhar Reddy also said that officials cannot collect blood, hair and nail samples of the actress without her consent. Kaur is among a dozen top Tollywood personalities being questioned by the SIT of the Telangana Prohibition and Excise department. The actress moved the high court yesterday seeking its directions to the investigating officials to allow presence of her lawyer and women officers during the questioning. The court today directed the SIT officials to question the actress between 10 am and 5 pm in the presence of women officers. It also accepted Kaur’s request that investigators should not forcibly extract any statement from her. The court said Kaur’s blood, hair and nail samples cannot be taken from her ‘forcibly’. As she has been summoned as a witness, the court rejected her request for the presence of her lawyer during her questioning, her counsel P Vishnuvardhan Ready said. “I need legal assistance during the enquiry in order to protect my fundamental rights and also to avoid torture, coercion and threat,” her petition said. Kaur had expressed fear that she may be compelled to give a “false and self-incriminating” statement, and that officials may collect her blood, hair and nail samples against her will. Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal had said no samples were collected without the written consent of those summoned for questioning. He had also said that women officers are already a part of the probe team. The special investigation team (SIT) had earlier summoned 12 personalities from Telugu film industry, for questioning in connection with the racket. The SIT had issued notices to all of them under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act after the racket for supplying high-end drugs such as LSD and MDMA in and around Hyderabad was busted on July 2. Since July 19, the SIT has questioned noted filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu, character actor P Subba Raju, actors Tarun Kumar and P Navdeep. The names of some Tollywood personalities came out during the interrogation of those arrested so far. The SIT was quizzing them to find out if they had any links with the racket as consumers or suppliers or with those arrested, Excise officials earlier said. Nineteen people have been arrested so far. As a part of the racket, high-end drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) were being supplied. The investigators suspect that film personalities, employees of MNCs, school and college students were among the clients of the racketeers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hyderabad drug racket: Art director appears before SIT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telugu film art director Dharma Rao alias Chinna today appeared before the SIT of Telangana’s Prohibition and Excise department in connection with the drug racket busted here earlier this month. Rao was earlier summoned by the investigating team to appear before it for questioning in connection with the racket. Meanwhile, an official heading the SIT probe asked people not to judge the investigation process without having complete knowledge about it. He said the allegations that the probing officers are not doing their duty properly “amount to defamation”. The special investigation team (SIT) earlier summoned around 10 personalities, including actors from the Telugu film industry, for questioning in connection with the racket. Telugu actor Pallapollu Navdeep was yesterday questioned by the SIT officials for over 10 hours. The SIT had issued notices to all of them under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act after the racket for supplying high-end drugs such as LSD and MDMA in and around Hyderabad was busted on July 2. The investigating officers yesterday arrested actress Kajal Agarwal’s manager Puttkar Ronson Joseph in connection with the racket. Since July 19, the SIT has questioned noted filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu and character actor P Subba Raju, besides Tarun Kumar. The names of some Tollywood personalities came out during the interrogation of those arrested so far. The SIT was quizzing them to find out if they had any links with the racket as consumers or suppliers or with those arrested, Excise officials earlier said. Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal yesterday said a total of 19 persons were arrested, seven cases booked and 27 questioned in connection with the racket. He said some more persons may be arrested, based on evidence. Sabharwal also said that the Prohibition and Excise department is within the purview of its powers to investigate any offence under the NDPS Act. “We are legally empowered to investigate these cases. The department is following all provisions of law, including the Supreme Court’s guidelines, as far as interviewing and questioning is concerned of the summoned persons. We are within the parameters of law,” he earlier said. He said it has come to light that people are judging the investigation process without having full knowledge of it. “I think it is incorrect on anybody’s part to arrive at a judgement… We are following all legal provisions…it is incorrect on the part of some to pass a judgement on the investigation,” he said. “The accusations that the officers are not doing their duties properly also amount to defamation,” Sabharwal said. He also said that no samples are collected without a written consent of the person. Women officers are already a part of the probe team, he added. Actor Charmee Kaur, who is among those summoned, yesterday moved the Hyderabad High Court, saying she should be questioned in the presence of women officers and her lawyers. The Excise officials clarified that those being questioned were from different sections of the society, and denied that only film industry members were being targeted. As a part of the racket, high-end drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methylenedioxy- methamphetamine (MDMA) were being supplied. The investigators suspect that film personalities, employees of MNCs, school and college students were among its clients. The racketeers placed orders through the ‘Darknet’ (a restricted online network frequently used in illegal activities) and the drugs were delivered by couriers, including from overseas, the officials said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Take steps to keep students away from drugs: Tel Excise Dept

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Excise Department of Telangana, currently investigating a high-end drugs racket which was recently busted in the city, today called for action to keep the student community away from narcotics. “You are aware that…Telangana Excise Special Task Force (STF) has arrested several persons in connection with possession and sale of high-end narcotics,” Excise Commissioner R V Chandrvadan said in a letter to education officials. “Investigation….has revealed certain disturbing facts involving the student community in particular,” he said. Among other things, colleges should be asked to “sensitise” the teachers and students about hazards of substance-abuse, and areas around colleges, especially shops, should be monitored to see if drugs are being sold, he said. Rao also suggested setting up `student and lecturers’ committees, on the lines of anti-ragging committees, to tackle the drug menace. According to the STF, the racket which was busted in the city catered to nearly 1,000 customers, including students of schools and colleges. The gang sold high-end drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), the STF has said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Clientele of Hyd drug peddlers: School kids, film producer,

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Racketeers involved in peddling high-end narcotics like LSD, MDMA had a mixed clientele of around 1,000 people including a film producer, officials of MNCs and shockingly students of various schools and colleges here, a senior Excise Department official said today. Eight persons, five of them engineers working in good positions in multinational companies, have been arrested so far by the Excise Department since it busted the drug racket on Sunday after conducting raids across Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The eighth person arrested today was Brendon Ben (20), suspected to be a key accused, who is running an event management company and allegedly involved in supplying LSD. Through the analysis of mobile phones and emails of three of the accused, excise officials have found close to 1,000 individuals, including the film producer, officials of MNCs and employees of IT firms in Cyberabad, besides students from various schools and colleges, as the clients of peddlers. The LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is generally sold in rave parties in tablets or liquid form. It is known to be one of the most potent ‘mood-changing’ chemicals. The MDMA, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as ‘ecstasy’, is used as a recreational drug. “… nearly 1,000 individuals, and a lot of them youngsters, are found to be LSD users. A disturbing trend is students, particularly a few school students, using LSD, which is a matter of concern. One such user is a class VIII student. Yes, that’s disturbing,” Akun Sabharwal, the prohibition and excise enforcement director, told reporters here. This list of users may go up as this information is based on the analysis of only three mobile phones seized from the accused, he said. In view of investigation revealing disturbing facts on the use of drugs by students, the department has issued advisories to 26 schools and 27 colleges after finding that a sizable number of students are hooked to drugs. “Identification of children will not be revealed and we will recommend for their rehabilitation and counselling. Through the advisories we have asked the educational institutions to sensitise teachers and students on this issue and watch out for erratic or deviant behaviour in students,” Sabharwal said. The areas in the vicinity of the schools should also be monitored and also easy availability of cash/cards with students should also be monitored, he said, adding the institutes should take it as a campaign. He said a meeting cum interaction is proposed with principals of almost 80 schools in Hyderabad on July 14 and a similar exercise would be undertaken regarding colleges as well. The officer said that five of the accused are B Tech graduates who are working in good positions in MNCs. “They are young, technically qualified, well educated, well paid. They were procuring LSD and MDMA through dark web (internet). With today’s arrest of Brendon Ben, I think it almost puts curtains drawn on the number of arrests with regard to LSD procurement and its sale in and around Hyderabad. I can confidently say that till a new gang starts it again, we have put an end to this menace,” Sabharwal said. Responding to a query, he said children are getting attracted to LSD either out of curiosity or due to a peer pressure. “They think that if somebody else is trying (drugs), why shouldn’t I?” he added. The officer said the users of drugs were in touch with the peddlers through mobile apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. The department has also started a toll free number (1800 4252523) to enable citizens, parents, teachers and students who have any information regarding drug peddling. He said the excise department is also making efforts to extend the fight against drugs from enforcement to education and awareness through messages and videos. Excise officials had yesterday seized nearly 100 units of LSD from four persons and arrested them. The department conducted raids across Hyderabad and Secunderabad on Sunday and seized 700 ‘squares’ of LSD, each costing Rs 3,000 and worth Rs 21 lakh in total, and 35 grams of MDMA worth Rs 1.4 lakh. Three alleged drug peddlers were arrested during the raids.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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