KOCHI: The excise has arrested a youth suspected to be the main supplier of MDMA in Kochi. Harikrishnan, 24, of Aroor, was arrested with five grams of the drug from a place near the Kuzhuveli temple in Vyttila on Tuesday night.
According to excise officials, Harikrishnan was working as an electronic engineer with a firm in Kochi after completing BTech. He was running a group named ‘Night Riders Task Team’ on Telegram X to distribute MDMA to customers, mostly youngsters living in city hostels, an officer said.
“Harikrishnan adopted a unique modus operandi to evade the excise and the police. He procured MDMA in bulk from Bengaluru through agents and was never involved directly in drug peddling. Instead, he used members of the Telegram group to distribute drugs to customers. The members never knew the original identity of Harikrishnan,” said the excise officer.
When customers order drugs through Telegram, Harikrishnan drops small polythene packets containing MDMA in a street, the excise said. Later, he would send the exact location where the cover was dropped to the Telegram group member tasked with supplying the drug. He uses coded words to communicate with a group member for drug peddling.
The group member picks up the cover and delivers it to the customer for a commission of Rs 1,000. “Harikrishnan drops the packet containing MDMA only between 7pm and 10pm. He chooses different streets to drop packets containing MDMA.
Interestingly, the Telegram group members who worked for Harikrishnan never saw him. He was running the group for the past two years,” the official said. Harikrishnan came under the radar of the excise department after some members were caught with MDMA in various parts of Kochi.