Five arrested for selling party drugs during lockdown

As part of its investigation into the online drug racket it had uncovered at Kadugodi in April, the narcotics wing of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) police on Thursday arrested five more people and recovered MDMA, ecstasy tablets and LSD strips worth ₹30 lakh from them.

The accused Bayan Ansari, 26, Arnold Pasal D’Souza, 27, Anirudh Venkatachalam, 23, Kanishq Reddy, 23 and Santosh Krishnappa, 28 were nabbed at different locations in and around Bengaluru, said a senior police official. Anirush and Kanishq work as animation and graphic designers; Arnold is a technical developer in the IT field and Bayan and Santosh are college dropouts.

Gang followed lockdown hours

According to the police the gang continued to sell drugs to clients even during the lockdown. They operated between 6 and 10 a.m., when traffic restrictions were eased, to supply the drugs to their customers.

They searched the darknet for suppliers and met a local peddler from Benglauru, who goes by the name Vegatar. He started supplying them with the party drugs. “They made payments in Bitcoin and the drugs would be couriered to them,” said the police official. He added that the gang purchased the drugs at cheaper rates, but would sell each pill or strip for anywhere between ₹4,000-₹5,000.

Police stumble upon network

Vegatar used an app, Wickr Me, and was part of a network where drug peddlers were rated. “Their rankings depended upon the quality and quantity of the drugs and their credibility. The technical team of the CCB is tracking down the peddlers through the app, a senior police officer,” said.

So far, 11 people have been arrested in connection with the case. On April 29, the CCB had earlier raided a house in Kadugodi and arrested six people, including a foreign national, for allegedly peddling synthetic drugs to clients in Bengaluru. “We suspect that more people are part of this ring and efforts are on to track them down,” said the police.

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