The Ernakulam rural police suspect the involvement of a large network behind the smuggling of 2kg of MDMA, a drug commonly known as ecstasy, which was seized recently. The seizure of the drug, which costs crores of rupees, is one of the biggest hauls in the State in the recent past.
Though the police could arrest only two persons so far, they remain confident of exposing the network and making more arrests once they get the custody of the arrested. Sivaprasad, alias Shyam, 29, of Cherthala, and Aabid, 33, of Taliparambu, were arrested by a combined team of the rural police and the District Anti-Narcotic Special Action Force (DANSAF) while the duo were allegedly smuggling in the drug in a pick-up van from Chennai last Saturday.
In the days since the arrest, the police further seized 70 gm of heroine and 3 gm of MDMA from an apartment rented by Aabid at Thrikkakara. The police remain tight-lipped about the investigation as they suspect that another accused who was staying in the apartment absconded after media reports on the seizure.
“We don’t want to reveal anything more at this stage as it may help more accused, including the suppliers of the drug in Chennai, to flee,” said a senior police officer.
What puzzles the police is the huge quantity being brought in during the lockdown when rave parties — where such premium drugs are used — could not be conducted as strict checking is in place. Excise sources said that even before the lockdown resorts and premium hotels were under close surveillance as drugs, including MDMA, were seized in raids held at premium hotels and resorts in Kochi in April.
The police are probing the possibility of the consignment being smuggled in for high networth individuals. That Aabid had rented the apartment, which charges high rent, just three weeks ahead of the incident gives police the impression that the operation was in the making for a while. The police haven’t yet come across any known source of income that enabled him to afford such an apartment raising doubts that someone else could have sponsored it in return for his service. The arrested duo had also rented a home at Kuzhipilly where Sivaprasad was reportedly staying with his wife.
Considering the huge quantity involved, the possibility of central agencies taking an interest in the case is also not ruled out.