In Gujarat, ATS recovers 225kg of mephedrone worth ₹1,125cr; six detained
Ahmedabad, Aug 18: The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has detained six persons in connection with the seizure of 225 kilograms of party drug mephedrone worth Rs 1,125 crore during a raid at an under-construction factory near Vadodara city.
Preliminary investigation has revealed that the seized mephedrone was manufactured at a chemical factory in Saykha village in Bharuch district of the state before being processed at this under-construction facility in Savli taluka of Vadodara district, said Superintendent of Police, ATS, Sunil Joshi.
"Based on a specific tip-off, a team of the Gujarat ATS raided this factory-cum-warehouse on Tuesday morning and seized 225 kilogram of mephedrone worth Rs 1,125 crore in the international market," he said.
"This under-construction factory is owned by Surat resident Mahesh Vaishnav, who is the mastermind of this racket, and his Vadodara-based partner Piyush Patel. Earlier this year, Vaishnav came up with an idea of manufacturing mephedrone and contacted the owners of another chemical factory situated in Saykha," Joshi said.
That factory in Bharuch is owned by Rakesh Makani, Vijay Vasoya and Dilip Vaghasia. It was set up to manufacture chemical intermediates and other pharmaceutical products on contract basis for other companies.
Makani, who is an MSc in chemistry subject and into the pharma business since 2011, agreed to Vaishnav's offer and started manufacturing Mephedrone in January this year. The raw material to make the illegal drugs was supplied by Vaishnav.
"Vaishnav then brought liquid mephedrone from Bharuch to his facility in Savli and turned it into powder form after drying. He confessed to have supplied nearly 15 kg of mephedrone to one Dinesh Dhruv and two others of Mumbai and 15 kg to a man from Rajasthan. The rest has been seized by the ATS," said Joshi.
ATS has so far detained Vaishnav, Patel, Makani, Vasoya, Vaghansia and Dhruv.
Investigation has revealed that it was Dhruv who had arranged meetings of mastermind Vaishnav and factory owner Rakesh Makani. Dhruv had spent 12 years behind bars after his arrest in an Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act case in 1994.
Similarly, Vaishnav had spent seven years in jail following his arrest in 1998 from Bhavnagar by the Customs in a drug smuggling case, Joshi said, adding that a probe is on to nab others involved in the drug trade.
Mephedrone, also known as 'meow meow' or MD drug, is a synthetic stimulant banned under the NDPS Act.