Telangana: Drug bust cellphones reveal shady details

Hyderabad: The verification of the call data on mobile phones seized by the Special Task Force of the Enforcement Wing of the Excise and Prohibition department, in its ongoing investigation into a drug bust in the city, has revealed the disturbing fact that hundreds of school and college students are drug users. The data comes from the phones of three persons arrested earlier and four others arrested on Tuesday.

Director of Enforcement Akun Sabharwal said that the number of users from schools may be in the thousands and the department has been identifying them.  “We are concentrating on arresting the suppliers and not the victims who are addicted to drugs. On Tuesday, we arrested four suppliers and a few others are on trap and we will nab them soon,” he said.

An STF official said that those hooked onto drugs later became suppliers so that they could earn money for buying more drugs. He said that the drug racket in which Kelvin Masra and two others were arrested dealt only with Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and Methylenedioxymetha-mphetamine (MDMA, popularly known as Ecstasy) that are very expensive.

One dot/square of LSD costs Rs 3,000 and one gram of MDMA, Rs 4,000. The high cost is turning victims into suppliers, he said. “We are concentrating on victims for providing counselling, but those who are found to be suppliers-cum-victims, we are arresting them,” the official said. Among the messages retrieved from the phones of one of the ringleaders arrested earlier, Kelvin Masra, was one from a school girl who sent a photograph of herself in the nude and offered to sell it to procure drugs.

The official said that this single incident emphasises how important it is to ensure the victims are sent to de-addiction centres. The young people will be questioned in accordance with the rules for questioning minors, he added. Mr Sabharwal said that the department is focusing on nabbing the main suppliers of drugs to Telangana. “The only solution to avoid drugs being so rampant among children is to nab the kingpins,” he said.

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