The Ernakulam Rural Police arrested one more person in connection with the seizure of 2 kg of MDMA, one of the biggest such hauls of the premium drug in the State in recent times, from Karukutty near Angamaly last Saturday.
The special investigation team probing the case arrested Ibrahimkutty aka Ibru, 31, of Thaliparambu in Kannur from Aluva, taking the total number of arrests in the case to three. Sivaprasad aka 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 they were allegedly smuggling in the drug in a pick-up van from Chennai.
The police suspect the involvement of a larger network in the case.
In the days since the arrest, the police have seized 70 grams of heroine and 3 grams of MDMA from an apartment rented by Aabid at Thrikkakara. The police remain tight-lipped about the investigation, as they suspect that media reports on the drug seizure led to the absconding of another accused who was staying at the apartment.
“We don’t want to reveal anything more at this stage, as it may help more accused, including suppliers of the drug in Chennai, to flee,” said a senior police officer.
What puzzles the police is the huge quantity being brought in at a time when the lockdown is in place eliminating scope for rave parties where such premium drugs are often used.
Excise sources said even before the lockdown resorts and premium hotels were being closely monitored after drugs, including MDMA, were seized during raids at premium hotels and resorts in Kochi in April.
The police are probing the possibility of the consignment being smuggled in for high-net-worth individuals. That Aabid had rented the relatively expensive apartment just three weeks ahead of the seizure gives the police the impression that the operation was in the making for a while.
The police have not yet come across any known source of income that enabled Aabid to afford such an apartment, raising doubts whether someone else had 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.