The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials have busted a drug grinding unit in an operation at Nanded on Monday and seized a total 111 kilograms of Poppy Straw, 1.4 kilograms of Opium, cash Rs 1.55 lakh along with two grinding machines which were being used for grinding of Poppy Seeds, electronic scale and note counting machine. The seized contraband is worth over Rs 2 crore.
The NCB has intercepted three persons in the said operation. The agency sources also stated that main supplier of poppy to the arrested accused persons has been intercepted from Mandsor in Madhya Pradesh.
Speaking about the operation, NCB Mumbai Unit Zonal Director, Sameer Wankhede said, "On specific information a team of NCB Mumbai had raided three shops located at Kamtha, Nanded and busted clandestine drug unit. During the operation, the following drugs and machineries were seized from this illicit clandestine drug unit - 111 kilograms of Poppy Straw (Commercial Quantity), 1.4 kilograms of Opium, cash Rs 1.55 lakh along with two grinding machines which were being used for grinding of Poppy Seeds, electronic scale and note counting machine."
"We have intercepted three persons - Hardayal Singh Gulab Singh Katodiya, Jivan singh Avtar Singh Chopra and Jitender Singh Pragan Singh Bullar and have registered a case in this regard," he said.
"Preliminary probe has revealed that the poppy comes in transport vehicles from Mandsor and is being supplied by one Saddam Ajmeri to the arrested accused persons. The trafficking of drugs has been going on since past three years at least. Ajmeri has been intercepted at Mandsor," said an NCB source.
Poppy straw is a raw material from which illegal heroin may be produced. The alkaloid profiles of poppy straw and opium are similar, but preliminary research suggests they can be distinguished by relative quantities of alkaloids. Poppy straw also known as opium straw, mowed opium straw, crushed poppy capsule, poppy chaff, or poppy husk is derived from opium poppies that are harvested when fully mature and dried by mechanical means, minus the ripe poppy seeds, the NCB said in a statement.