HYDERABAD: In a major breakthrough in their effort to end the drugs menace, Hyderabad police have arrested Chukwu Ogbonna David alias Tony, the kingpin of one of the major international drug rackets, in Mumbai and brought him to the city on Thursday. The Nigerian has been living in Mumbai since 2013 even after the expiry of his visa.
The police also arrested nine of the 13 high profile businessmen in Hyderabad who were “consumers” of the drug supplied by Tony. According to Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand, the police have evidence that Tony has been supplying drugs to people of affluent sections in the city. He also named nine of the 13 businessmen, most of them from posh Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills, and said efforts were on to arrest the remaining persons. The evidence has been culled out from the confession of Tony.
In fact, the arrest of two interstate peddlers Imran Babu Shaik and Noor Mohammad Khan by North Zone and Punjagutta police helped the police obtain information on their master Tony’s whereabouts. Taking the assistance of Mumbai police, North Zone Task Force apprehended Tony. “Tony’s two agents came to Hyderabad on the eve of New Year and were picked by the police on January 6,” the Commissioner said.
Tony, after settling down in Mumbai, was initially into garments business but was drawn to drugs smuggling attracted by the huge profits some of those who were known to him were making at that time.
Tony then took a deep dive into the illegal trade. His main agent Imran also had not met Tony in person as he, for purpose of security, used to deal with his consumers over phone or WhatsApp and called through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). “Imran maintained contact with his 13 customers in Hyderabad. He contacted them at least 30 times and supplied cocaine sourced from Tony,” he added.
Even though Tony deleted the entire WhatsApp conversations, Imran had retained all the message on his phone sent to the 13 customers in Hyderabad. Tony’s call data was not deleted which helped the police to dig deeper to find out that all these 13 consumers were well-off and were businessmen. The Police Commissioner also said that Tony is known for evading arrest and it was the first time that he had been caught.
Tony orders drugs from another international drug smuggler ‘Star Boy’ from Nigeria. It is suspected that Tony receives the supply of drugs in ships. He supplies them to Goa, Maharashtra and Hyderabad and other southern parts of the country. Tony only does VoIP calls and uses Nigerian mobile phones to avoid detection by law enforcement authorities.
List of nine persons arrested under Sec 27 of NDPS Act:
Niranjan Kumar Jain, a contractor and a resident of Himayath Nagar, Hyderabad
Shashwat Jain, construction business, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad
Yagyanand Agarwal, spices business, Gowlipura, Hyderabad
Dhandu Surya Sumanth Reddy, contractor, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad
Bandi Bhargav, business, Vikaspuri, Yerragadda Hyderabad
Venkat Chalasani, business, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad
Thamminedi Sagar, private job, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad
Alghani Srikanth, office boy, Budvel, Rajendra Nagar, RR dist
Godi Subba Rao, private job, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, a native of East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh