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Hyd drug racket probe: 1 more held, total number of arrests 13

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

Another person was today arrested for allegedly peddling LSD by the Prohibition and Excise department, which had recently exposed a racket selling high-end drugs, taking the number of persons arrested in the case so far to 13.

Piyush A, an engineering graduate, was picked up from the Marredpally area here and 80 "blots" of LSD, besides other pharma drugs used in preparing fake LSD "blots", were seized from his possession, Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal told reporters.

Among the 13 persons arrested so far since the racket was busted on July 2, there is a US citizen, Dundu Anish, a former aerospace engineer who had worked with the NASA, besides seven B.Tech graduates, most of whom were working for multi-national companies.

The racket used to sell high-end drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and MDMA (methylenedioxy- methamphetamine).

LSD, sold as tablets or in liquid form, is known to be one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals, while MDMA, commonly referred to as 'molly' or 'ecstasy', is a popular recreational or party drug.

The gang catered to nearly 1,000 customers, including students of city-based schools and colleges, a film producer and senior officials of multi-national companies and employees of the IT firms in Cyberabad.

Based on the information provided by those arrested, the department has summoned 12 persons, including some Tollywood personalities, seeking explanations on their alleged links with the drug-peddlers.

Some Tollywood actors, directors and producers are among those who had recently been issued notices by the department under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, asking them to appear before it from July 19 onwards.

"We have to ascertain their (to whom the notices were issued) role (whether they were drug users or peddlers)...Some of the names came out during the interrogation of the accused," a senior Excise official said.

Meanwhile, when his comment was sought on a section of the media revealing the names of the Tollywood personalities with alleged links to the drugs racket, Sabharwal said, "It is unethical...Not correct on part of the investigating agency to reveal their names."

He urged the media not to "sensationalise" the issue and to project the facts of the case.

Responding to a query, Sabharwal ruled out any pressure on him from any quarter as regards the investigation and asserted that he had the full support of the government in the probe.

"I have the full support of the government. Other law enforcement agencies are also extending support. I have no pressure as such...No one is targeting me or creating any problem," he said.

Asked about him going on leave and the speculations surrounding its timing, Sabharwal said he was availing it for personal reasons and it had nothing to do with the case.

"My mother passed away two months ago. I am going on leave to my native place. The leave was sanctioned two months ago, before this case surfaced. There is no link between my leave and the case," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 14 2017. 20:58 IST