THOOTHUKUDI: Six persons were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly peddling 20.162 kilogrammes of heroin worth Rs 21 crore.
The suspects have been identified as M Anzar Ali (26), M Marimuthu (26), S Imran Khan (27), S Kasali (27), R Prem (40) and S Anthonymuthu (42). They were arrested by a special team led by Additional Superintendent of Police (ADSP) Karthikeyan, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Anti-Land Grabbing Special Cell (ALGSC) Sampath, incharge of Thoothukudi town sub division and Central police station inspector Jeyaprakash.
Sources said questioning Anzar Ali, Marimuthu and Imran Khan gave the team the lead, and they seized 50 grams and 112 grams of heroin from the houses of Ali and Khan in Anna Nagar and Toovipuram respectively.
Upon further investigation, the trio revealed their link with other suspects - Kasali, Prem and Anthonymuthu from Tharuvaikulam fishing hamlet. The police said Anthonymuthu is the source of heroin.
Based on the statements of the suspects, the police seized 20 kilogrammes of the contraband, concealed in three bags, from the house of Anthonymuthu in Tharuvaikulam.
Superintendent of Police S Jeyakumar said Anthonymuthu, an owner of a boat, is believed to have got a bag containing 30 kg heroin floating in the sea near Minicoy islands a year ago while he was fishing in the area.
"He had hidden the substance back then for nearly five months as he was not aware of what it was. Later he came to know about the contraband after contacting a drug peddler, Murugan of Anna Nagar. Anthonymuthu had sold nearly 6 kilogrammes of heroin so far through various sources," he said.
The SP added Murugan had procured six packets of heroin from Anthonymuthu at a cost of Rs 1.5 lakh each and had distributed them to others. "Murugan has gone missing and the special team has launched a manhunt for him," Jeyakumar said.
The mobile phones and the electronic gadgets of the suspects have been seized and further investigations are on. "Efforts are on to verify the claims of Antonymuthu and to nab the other suspects," he said.
While appreciating the special team, Jeyakumar said 22 persons among 195 detained under Goondas Act this year are drug peddlers. "Besides, over 422 ganja peddlers have been arrested in 366 cases and 353 kgs of ganja were seized this year," he added.