A former Air India pilot has been arrested in a drug bust during which the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seized 60kg of mephedrone worth over Rs 120 crore from Mumbai and Gujarat, a senior official said here on Friday.
Mephedrone, also known as “meow meow” or MD, is a synthetic stimulant and psychotropic substance banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The raids and arrests were carried out on specific inputs received by the Naval Intelligence unit at Jamnagar in Gujarat, Sanjay Singh, NCB deputy director-general, said here.
“We have cracked a drug network spread across various states of the country and arrested six persons involved in the syndicate,” he said.
The officials from the NCB headquarters in Delhi and its Mumbai zonal unit conducted a raid at Jamnagar on Monday and seized 10kg mephedrone, he said.
The NCB team arrested one person from Jamnagar and three others from Mumbai in this connection, Singh added.
“On Thursday, the NCB team raided a godown located on SB Road in Fort area of south Mumbai, from where it seized 50kg of mephedrone and arrested two more accused, including the kingpin in the case,” he said, adding that more people are likely to be held.
The accused former pilot had started his career as a lower-rank employee and later passed a pilot course exam, he said.
Between 2016 and 2018, he had worked in the airline, Singh said, adding that he had completed his pilot training from San Antonio in Texas and Lithuania.
“The pilot had left his job due to some medical reasons and since then, he had been involved in the drug cartel,” he said.
“During the probe, we found that all the members of the cartel are experienced in drug trafficking and they have so far distributed at least 225 kg mephedrone in various states,” he said.
The mephedrone seized in this operation was manufactured at a lab near Mumbai, the official said.