When toy seller ‘Bapu’ turned drug dealer ‘Bhai’ in Kerala

‘Bapu’ was put under surveillance, and plainclothes officers approached him in the guise of customers after befriending him.
When toy seller ‘Bapu’ turned drug dealer ‘Bhai’ in Kerala

KOCHI:  He was known as ‘Minku Bapu or Minku Bhai’, a septuagenarian who sold toys at Thevara in Kochi. Local residents were shocked when Excise officers recently revealed that he was actually a brown sugar dealer. 

Vipin Kumar Rastogi (70), a native of Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by an Excise special squad last month for selling narcotics while posing as a toy seller on school premises and roadsides. The drug dealer caught the attention of officers after they received an alert that young people regularly visited his ‘toy spot’, on the road to Kasturba Nagar near Thevara Deaver Road, in the evenings. 

‘Bapu’ was put under surveillance, and plainclothes officers approached him in the guise of customers after befriending him. He told them the price and gave tips on how to take the drug.  When he realised that the men were not normal ‘customers’, he attempted to flee the spot in an auto-rickshaw, abandoning the toys. Officers, however, chased him down.

They raided his house and seized more packets of brown sugar. He sold small packets of a few milligrams at Rs 1,500 each. During interrogation, Bapu confessed that he had procured the stuff from Uttar Pradesh.
However, the investigation into other links in the racket and the source of the drug hit a roadblock as Bapu was found dead at his residence in Thevara on March 18, while he was out on bail.

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