Hotels instructed not to rent out space to suspected persons
The Customs (Preventive) and State Excise Department are all set to turn on the heat on rave parties while warning hotels hosting such events to fall in line and cooperate or face the music.
After arresting four persons, including a disc jokey (DJ), following a string of coordinated raids simultaneously conducted on Saturday midnight at five premium hotels in the city and seizing high-end synthetic drugs, the agencies have chalked out a multi-pronged strategy to stem the flow of drugs and check rave parties.
Customs sources said directions had been issued to hoteliers to keep out elements with history of cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and not to rent out space to them. “In short, those with such antecedents will be denied entry to all star hotels in the city, and hotels have been warned that renting out space for illegal parties infested with drugs makes them vulnerable to charges under Section 25 of the NDPS Act,” they added.
The intention is to rein in rave parties without stepping on the revenue of hotels. Plans are also afoot to infiltrate parties held in premium hotels with plainclothesmen and also to elicit information from regular party hoppers.
“During the raids on Saturday, rave party organisers had blown drugs from the floor where they were being held to avoid detection, while some managed to escape exploiting multiple entries to the party hall or even jumping off from even the height of the second floor. We will plug such loopholes in our future moves,” the sources said.
T.A. Ashok Kumar, Deputy Excise Commissioner, Ernakulam, said the agency would keep an eye on parties and will conduct raids if they were found suspicious. “We strongly suspect that these parties are being held by drug pushers also to build their clientèle. Such parties are usually separated by months, and if a participant is introduced to a premium synthetic drug and gets hooked, he or she might approach the organisers even outside such parties,” he added.
The officer said most participants were below the age of 25 and urged their families to check out on them if they frequently stayed out late into the night.
Tracing the origin of synthetic drugs mostly to Goa and Bengaluru, the agencies said even foreigners were involved in their supply.
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