MUMBAI: The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai Crime branch nabbed 45-year-old drug peddler Bakul Chandaria from his Khar residence on Saturday, 9 December, reported Hindustan Times. The accused, who runs the Sarvodaya Video Centre in Khar, is said to have Bollywood A-listers as his clients, reported Mumbai Mirror.
Police reportedly seized 106 grams of cocaine and 90 LSD dots from the Mumbai dealer’s Khar residence. The total worth of drugs and cash recovered from his residence amounted to over R290,000. Two cell phones belonging to Chandaria have also been seized.
As per the HT report, Chandaria has been a key figure in the LSD and cocaine supply chain in Mumbai, Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) officials have said.
The accused will remain in police custody till 16 December.
Police sources were quoted as saying that Chandaria had systematically established his smuggling network and was distributing cocaine and LSD into the city, mostly across the western suburbs.
The ANC’s Azad Maidan unit acted on a tip-off that Chandaria had kept drugs at his home. Reportedly, a team led by unit head inspector Santosh Bhalekar along with assistant inspector Pramod Kumbhar and constables Arun Kedar and Nilesh Nimbalkar, raided his flat in Khar (west).
Links to 2012 Juhu Oakwood Hotel Drugs Bust
Chandaria has been on the crime branch’s radar after his arrest in the infamous 2012 Juhu Oakwood Hotel drugs bust case. At the time, Khar police had arrested him for supplying drugs to party where celebrities and IPL players were caught consuming drugs. Around 100 people were detained at the party, out of which 86 tested positive for drugs.
A 10 July 2012 Mumbai Mirror report mentioned that Chandaria filed a contempt application against the police’s inaction in the Oakwood case.
After his arrest on 10 December, police have begun an inquiry into Chandaria’s domestic and international criminal links together.
The police suspects that Chandaria may have cloaked his shady drugs deals with lawful business activities, reported Mumbai Mirror. The investigation may also follow an inquiry into Chandaria’s links with Nigerian drug cartels active in the cocaine peddling business.