VELLORE:Four persons have been arrested in Katpadi by the Narcotics Intelligence Bureau CID (NIB CID) for attempting to sell 950 grams of cocaine valued about Rs 1 crore. The NIB CID team concurrently launched a manhunt for the supplier, who, the team learned, hailed from Arcot.
Cocaine has traditionally been a rich man’s ‘disease’ and the fact that Vellore has registered its first case shows that the middle class may also be hooked to it.
The drug bust was made on Friday night and the arrested persons have been identified as S Zaheer Hussain (41), S Hameed (41), A Nirmal Raj (26) and P Dinakaran (26). Zaheer is a resident of Anaicut, Nirmal of Sathuvachari, Dinakaran of Vallalar and Hameed of Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam district.
The NIB received a tip off around 3 pm of a deal that would take place in a lodge near Silk Mill at Katpadi. Following this, a seven-member team led by NIB DSP, M Kamalakannan, in plain clothes, set up a stake-out opposite the lodge. Around 9.30 pm, the team barged into the lodge room which the four were occupying and arrested them red-handed with cocaine packets.
Preliminary inquiries revealed that they were supplied the ‘white powder’ by Dhanam alias Dhanaseliyan, a resident of Arcot, a week ago, on credit. The NIB team seized the four individuals’ cellphones and with the help of the numbers on their phones, they said they would be able to piece together the logistics and how and where the cocaine was being supplied.
“The team was promised a three per cent commission of the sales by Dhanam. While waiting for the transaction to be completed with a third party, we arrested the accused and further investigations will reveal the source of cocaine in the district and how it took root in India,” said Kamalakannan.
The arrested persons were first-time offenders and new to the cocaine business and were in it for a quick buck.
“All four confessed to the crime and claimed that they would have received only Rs 3 lakh from Dhanam, if the transaction had gone ahead. In the local market, the cost of cocaine may be low. We have sent samples to the lab and the results will reveal the quality of the product.”
NIB sources said the cocaine could possibly be sourced from Uganda. The NIB CID was also looking into the possibility of a link to Middle Eastern countries since Hameed had, in the past, worked in countries such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia as a labourer.