Thursday, April 28, 2016

Eruropean Gangs Sell Drug-LSD sold on Blotting Paper Imbued by in Chennai

Apr 27 2016 : The Times of India (Chennai)
LSD on stamps gives Chennai youths a high

European Gang Sending Drug By Post To City
Your ticket to get fried is in the mail. When sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) busted Rohan Nair, a 36-year-old techie, in his plush apartment in February 2015, he did not resist arrest.The evidence against him was, after all, overwhelming: The investigators found a large stash of colourfully decorated stamps, all pieces of blotting paper imbued with the psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).Nair, 5'7“-tall and almost geeky looking, earned more than `50,000 per month at his job as a software engineer with a leading tech firm in the city.As investigators soon learned, he made much more money as the Chennai point man of an international cartel of drug runners -a cartel that uses good old postal services and couriers and digital money transfer system Bitcoin to bring LSD into the city.
Nair, investigators said, went to college in Chennai and knew affluent students and young professionals who use costly synthetic drugs like LSD and cocaine.
NCB stumbled upon the racket while tracking students of a private engineering college on Chennai's outskirts in February 2015.
Acting on a tip from sources close to the students' families, the agency arrested a student, Rohit Balasubramaniam, after catching him in the act of handing over 2cmx2cm LSD blotting papers with colourful tattoo-like designs to his friends at a private hostel on the outskirts of the city.
The student led the investigators to Rohan Nair, from whose apartment they seized than 2,500 stamps of LSD blotting paper, 2g of cocaine and marijuana. NCB officers arrested Nair and Balasubramaniam and charged them under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
“Nair had sourced the drug from a European country and had paid for it via Bitcoin,“ a senior NCB officer said. “To keep off the radar of enforcement agencies the gang in the European country uses a labyrinthine system to distribute the drug, routing and rerouting consignments through multiple points before individual drug sellers receive them.“
Cartel members, he said, made the final deliveries to point men in various countries by post or courier. “This case was a major breakthrough for us,“ the officer said, but admitted that LSD is still making its way into the city , possibly through one or more new sellers that the European cartel recruited online.
Investigators, who believe the gang is using the same modus operandi, are working closely with India Post and major courier firms to bust the racket in Chennai. NCB officers say one of the challenges in detecting LSD consignments is that blotting paper with the drug is compact, weighs little and appears innocuous.
“If the smugglers dispatch the drug by “If the smugglers dispatch the drug by speed post the postal department has a better chance of detecting a consignment,“ NCB zonal director Prem Anand Sinha said. “But it easily slips through when they send it in envelopes by regular post.“
Postal staff were not aware of how the gang was using letters to smuggle LSD, he said. “We are speaking to them as well as courier services,“ Sinha said. “The training is at a preliminary level but we have asked them to check for anything that appears suspect. Why would anybody send stamps or peel-off tattoos by post?“ NCB has had success in the past in collaboration with courier companies.
“For example, there was a consignment of cricket thigh pads going from India to South Africa, a cricket-playing country,“ Sinha said. “That's normal enough.But when the courier company entrusted with delivering it looked closer, they found the pads were filled with ephedrine, a medication that's widely abused.“
“We are monitoring clubs and restaurants that host rave parties, at which LSD, at least for the affluent, is becoming the drug of choice,“ another NCB officer said.

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