Acting on a tip-off, the anti-narcotic cell laid a trap at Chhatrapati Shivaji Civic hospital in Kalwa township of the district on Monday and nabbed the accused, said to be the kingpin of the drug-peddling racket, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Thane, Parag Manere told reporters here.
As per information received by police, the accused, hailing from Malda in West Bengal, was to come near the hospital on Monday to sell opium. Upon search, 3.040 kg of opium worth around Rs 4.56 lakh was seized from his possession, he said.
Later, police searched the house of the accused at Nilje in Kalyan area of the district and seized a stock of around 1 kg of brown sugar, worth nearly Rs 1 crore in market, he said.
The interrogation of the accused revealed that two more persons assisted him in the racket, police said adding that a search was on to nab them. According to police, the accused had been staying in Kalyan for last 3-4 years.
He got acquainted with the locals and pretended as if he was working as a mason while carrying out drug-peddling.
Police are trying to find out to whom he sold the narcotic and since when he had been into drug-peddling. As per police, the accused, whose name was not disclosed, took a farm land on rent from some farmers in Malda and cultivated opium and extracted brown sugar from it and sold it in market in Thane and nearby areas.
Following his arrest, the accused was last evening produced before a magistrate who remanded him in police custody till March 14, the police officer said. Offences under sections 8(c) and 17 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act have been registered against the accused, police added.