MDMA case: police after more youths and a foreigner

Seizure of 21 grams of MDMA from a rented place at Edappally

The City police are looking at the potential involvement of another foreigner in the backdrop of the seizure of 21 grams of MDMA from a rented room at Edappally in March.

The police have so far arrested eight persons in this connection, including a Nigerian who allegedly sold the drug to youngsters.

“The Nigerian has confessed to the role of another foreigner, probably of African descent, in Bengaluru from whom he claimed to have bought the drug. We are pursuing that lead as well,” said an investigation officer associated with the inquiry. The Nigerian has a similar case involving LSD in Goa.

The police are also on the hunt for four more youngsters who were suspected to be part of the gang involved in drug trade. “As of now, those four along with the foreign suspect remain the only remaining accused in the case. We have been able to nab the ones who supplied the drug, transported it and its potential sellers,” the officer said.

All the suspects are college students, and they also targeted youngsters of their age as potential clients. The four youngsters who remain to be nabbed were suspected to be part of an eight-member gang of which other four — Muhammed Yasin, 20, of Koovappady; Jophin Varghese, 19, of Palarivattom; Aftab Liyaqat, 20, of Edathala, and Shifas, 20, of Aluva — had already been arrested.

The gang had taken a room adjoining the building from which Ahammad Yasin and Muhammad Shahad, youngsters from Aluva, were arrested with MDMA, triggering the chain of events. The gang had absconded as soon as the youngsters were arrested.

“Many of these youngsters were also suspected to be drug users as well, and the sale in part was probably for funding their own consumption, besides for making quick bucks. One of the accused was in a de-addiction centre till a week before his arrest,” said sources.

The drug was sourced from Bengaluru by Ahammad Yasin and Muhammad Shahad at ₹40,000, which was allegedly paid for by Shifas and brought here

The duo met their friend Muhammed Riyas, also from Aluva, in Bengaluru, who was a student there and stayed in his room. Shifas then transferred the money online to Shahad’s account who in turn transferred it to the account of Riyas’s roommate.

Later, they withdrew the money using the latter’s ATM card and bought the drugs before returning to the city where they were arrested a couple of days later. Riyas surrendered before court on October 7. It was his custodial interrogation that led to the arrest of the Nigerian.

District Police Chief (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare had formed a team under Thrikkakara Assistant Commissioner K.M. Gigimon to probe the case. A team led by Inspector A. Ananthalal, Sub Inspectors Bibin and Josy, and Assistant Sub Inspectors Anil Kumar and Madhu made the arrest.

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