Police bust nine-member drug gang from Kerala; seize 108 kg ganja

Police bust nine-member drug gang from Kerala; seize 108 kg ganja

A nine-member gang from Kerala was arrested in the early hours of Saturday, and 108 kilograms of ganja was seized from their cars.

The arrested are Nayanesh T N (36) and his associates Annas M H (26), Prajil Das T D (27), Shafi Kunjumarakkara (29) from Kochi; Saajan Das (22) from Thiruvananthapuram; Akshay Kumar C K alias Acchukutty (22) from Malappuram; Shinaj Baddudrin (27), Najeeb Kunju Mohammed (25) and Mustaq Mohammed Ali (20) from Thrissur.

The 25-member Women and Narcotics Wing police from the Central Crime Branch also raided a house in Indiranagar and recovered a weighing scale, packing machines and other materials, estimated to be Rs 50 lakh.

Among the arrested, Nayanesh is regarded as the kingpin and was kept under police surveillance as they had credible information that he was a major drug dealer.

Nayanesh, who has passed PUC and hails from Thrissur, has cases against him in the Jeevanbheema Nagar police station and one in Thrissur, too. Both the cases are registered under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act.

The police tracked his communication with his associates and came close to busting the gang on a few occasions while it returned from its mega ganja shopping, but they kept changing their mode of travel and route.

Kerala, Odisha  contacts

Probing the gang's modus operandi, ACP H N Venkatesh Prasanna learnt that Nayanesh had contacts with a Kerala-based drug dealer Vicky, who referred him to an Odisha-based peddler, who cultivated marijuana at unclaimed land in the Naxal-infested Gajuvaka village near Srikakulam in the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border.

"At least one quintal of the drug was smuggled into the city every fortnight," Prasanna said. The officer further added that Nayanesh operated from a rented house in Indiranagar's Eashwar Layout to smuggle drugs into Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Finding his activities suspicious, the house owner had asked him to vacate the place. "Nayanesh was in the notice period," Prasanna said.

The gang brought large volumes of the drug, divided it into packs of eight and 10 grams and sold each of them for Rs 300 to Rs 500 to college students and other drug takers in Ejipura, Murugeshpalya, Banaswadi, Hennur, KR Puram, Ramamurthy Nagar and other areas.

How they operated  

To buy the drug in bulk, Nayanesh and his associates were required to make an online transfer of Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakh to the Odisha drug peddler's account.

They would meet the man at an isolated spot in Gajuvaka, where they needed to be first cleared of police shadowing and the possible presence of a mole in their ranks. The gang would then be directed to a different spot where large packets of ganja were loaded into their cars. Nayanesh and others used to spray perfume on the bags to prevent its smell from wafting out, Prasanna

"They would drive back to the city bypassing the checkposts, which is their area of expertise," the police officer said.

Entry and exit routes

They have studied the inroads and backwater routes where police checkposts do not exist.

From Gajuvaka, the gang would reach Krishnagiri and would avoid entering the city through Hosur. They would reach Anekal through a remote route, running along a TVS factory.

At Anekal, they would again avoid entering the city through Bannerghatta and go further remote into Begur.

The ACP and his team studied all the entry and exit routes of the gang and covered them meticulously, leading to their capture this time.

The police team intercepted the gang at 3 am on Saturday, following which the house in Indiranagar was raided.

The police found pots of marijuana plants, which Nayanesh grew, having been inspired by the Odisha peddler.  

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