In three raids since Saturday, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) conducted a major crackdown on drug trafficking, arresting five people, including a television actor and a Tanzanian national.
The operation, which spanned across multiple locations in western suburbs and south Mumbai, was headed by the NCB’s Mumbai zonal director, Sameer Wankhede.
The agency arrested Preetika Chauhan, 30, a television actor, while she was allegedly receiving drugs from one Faisal, 20, a supplier. The duo were caught around 7pm at the Machhimar area in Versova on Saturday and the agency successfully seized 99 grams of marijuana from them. The NCB sources confirmed that the actress has been charged with consumption.
“She was caught red-handed while procuring the drugs,” said a source privy to the information. Further investigation led the NCB to nab Versova resident Deepak Rathaur, who is alleged to have supplied the marijuana to Faisal. “Rathaur is a historysheeter, with a case registered against him with Mumbai Police’s anti-narcotics cell. He has been a supplier to many high-profile clients in the Versova-Andheri belt,” the source added.
Similarly, the NCB seized four grams of cocaine at Mohammad Ali Road Road near Masjid and arrested one Bruno John Ngwale, a Tanzanian national. Based on his interrogation, the agency seized 4.40 grams of ecstasy and 1.88 grams of MDMA, totalling 6.28 grams at Versova and arrested one Rohit Hire. “Ngwale has been a supplier of cocaine,” said the source.
In another raid linked to the earlier arrests, the NCB seized 325 grams of marijuana, 32 grams of charas and 5 grams of methamphetamine from a vehicle, along with Rs 12,990 and apprehended a supplier of drugs.
The NCB teams have fanned across various places to unearth drug syndicates, some of them with links to supply banned contraband to celebrities. Agency investigations have revealed international links through which the contraband is sourced from abroad and sold to some in the city. Multiple layers of carriers are involved in the supply chain and the NCB has launched a probe to nab the suspects.