Mephedrone trafficking on the rise due to high profit margin and online access to production methods: Police: Newsdrum

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Mumbai, Jul 31 (PTI) Easily available information on production methods and high profit margins have made mephedrone or MD, a designer drug, popular among traffickers in Mumbai and neighboring towns, officials say.

Lately, mephedrone is one of the most seized drugs by the anti-narcotics cell of the Mumbai police, an official said.

This trend is also seen in nearby towns, he said.

Mumbai Customs destroyed a total of 2,043 kg of seized drugs in June 2022.

It included 499.5 kg of ephedrine, 882.69 kg of methamphetamine and 238.2 kg of mephedrone, the official said.

One of the reasons mephedrone has become popular is that information on how to make it is readily available on the internet, the senior police official said.

The manufacturing cost of mephedrone is said to be around Rs 50 per gram, while it is sold for between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 per gram, he said.

“The profit margin is higher than any other medicine,” the official said.

In the last month alone, Mumbai police seized 4.626 kg of mephedrone, worth Rs 6.38 crore from the illicit markets.

At least 99 people were arrested in 83 drug-related cases in the metropolis in June 2022.

The distribution chains of the mephedrone traffickers also involved African nationals, police found.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), a central agency, has seized mephedrone worth millions of rupees over the past few years in Mumbai and neighboring towns, the official said.

In October 2021, the NCB seized 505 grams of MD worth Rs 1 crore in the JJ Marg area in South Mumbai. Probe revealed that a Nigerian national was manufacturing the drugs in his rented apartment in a suburb, the official said.

Previously, African drug traffickers operating in Mumbai were more into cocaine trafficking, but now they have moved into mephedrone, ecstasy and MDMA, he said.

African drug traffickers in the city form their own small distribution cartels and are generally not dependent on local peddlers, he said.

Interrogating them is more difficult due to the language barrier, and sometimes they claim not to understand the language even if they know Hindi or English or even a little Marathi, the official said.

“Although there are challenges ahead of the Mumbai Police, we are working around the clock to eradicate the threat of drugs from the city,” the official said.

If people come forward to inform about drug trafficking in their area, it will help the police enormously, he added. PTI CC KRK NP NP


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