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Nigerian drug syndicate worry cops

The city police said they are grappling to keep track of a Nigerian syndicate of drug peddlers, whose members keep shunting between states to avoid detection and have been supplying synthetic drugs to local peddlers using the Dark Web.

The police said that the syndicate, after suffering several losses in the recent past, decided in a meeting at Bhendi Bazar of Mumbai four months back to shift members with police records to other states and rope in newer members, both of Nigeria and other countries, who do not have a criminal past.

Mohammed Sulaiman, a Sudan national who has been living in the city for the past 18 years, said that the drug peddlers are mostly from Nigeria and Somalia. They overstay in the country after visa lapse and avoid airports and railway stations, mostly using roads for travel, Sulaiman said.

Laddu Singh, a local marijuana peddler, said that in the Mumbai meeting, the syndicate decided to hire Hyderabadi locals for peddling ganja to local consumers.

“I attended the meeting in Mumbai. A dark man with curly hair shook hands with me, gave me Rs 50,000 and told me that my duty was to supply a powder to pubs and give door delivery to high-profile consumers,” Laddu Singh said.

“While I was leaving, he handed me a smartphone with a SIM and instructed me to activate it in Hyderabad and not give this number to anybody. I was a bit nervous. He put his hand on my shoulders and said there is nothing to worry, you will get the material at your place and the customers themselves will contact you once you activate the mobile and SIM,” he said.

Laddu Singh said he has a team of seven people, including two women who wear a burqa to avoid detection.

One of the women roped in by Laddu Singh said she has been supplying drugs to more than 68 pubs in the city.

“Since we entered into the market, not a single drug peddler has been arrested nor a single gram of drug seized from consumers. It’s because we dress up better than other customers and complete our work within 15 seconds and leave the place,” she said, adding that she used to work as a model but resorted to supplying drugs after she was sexually abused.

An investigation by Deccan Chronicle found that Hyderabad has the highest number of drug consumers after Bengaluru as not only locals and students consume them, but also foreign nationals who come here for medical treatments. Many such visitors have also settled in the suburbs of Hyderabad over the past 25 years. These mostly include Nigerians, Sudanese, Somalians, Jordanese, Bangladeshi, Yemenese and Afghani people.

Source : Deccan Chronicle



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