New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested six people, including a girl, a student of a private university in Noida and a Jaipur-based mastermind.
The NCB seized 15,000 blots of LSD worth several crore rupees from them.
This is a pan-India drug trafficking network connected to an international chain that primarily operates on the darknet, said officials.
The commercial quantity of LSD is six blots, indicating that the current seizure is 2,500 times higher than this threshold. In addition, 2.232 kg marijuana and Rs 4.55 lakh in cash were recovered, and Rs 20 lakh held in various bank accounts were frozen.
Gyaneshwar Singh, Deputy Director General (DDG), NCB, stated that all the accused were active on the darknet, where they were involved in selling drugs. He mentioned that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to dismantle the entire chain.
Singh revealed that LSD was being sourced from Poland and the Netherlands. The individuals behind the operation would procure LSD in Europe, and then send it to India through shipments. The network also has links with in the US. Once the consignment arrived in India, the accused would distribute it in the National Capital Region (NCR) and throughout the country.
The NCB had been investigating this gang for the past three months. Officials were actively monitoring social media platforms to gather information about the accused.
"The buyers and sellers were both active on the darknet and never disclosed their identities to each other. Buyers would make payments through cryptocurrency, and the consignments would be delivered via courier services and foreign post. Since they operated anonymously, they had no fear of being caught. The buyer and seller would communicate solely through chat on the darknet," explained DDG Singh.
The buyers and sellers would make deliveries on fake addresses and use mobile numbers that couldn't be traced.
After thorough monitoring of social media platforms, a student from a private university in Noida was arrested with a commercial quantity of LSD. Although he was a resident of Goa, he was active in the NCR and involved in peddling LSD. Subsequently, the NCB apprehended another individual in Delhi who was about to send an LSD consignment to Kashmir.
"The NCB then learned about a girl who was active on the darknet. The boy apprehended in Delhi informed NCB officials that he was working for her, and the girl was using a virtual ID. She was apprehended in the NCR. Her interrogation led to the arrest of a mastermind based in Jaipur, who was the brains behind the entire racket. Later, we arrested one more person from Kerala, and an LSD consignment en route to Goa was intercepted midway," said the official.
During the search of the mastermind based in Jaipur, a total of 9,006 blots of LSD, 2.233 kg of imported marijuana, and Rs 4,65,500 in cash were recovered. The Jaipur-based mastermind informed officials that he was overseeing the entire operation of LSD blots on the darknet, specifically Darkweb/WICKR.
"LSD is rapidly gaining popularity among youth, and students are increasingly using it. This synthetic drug, also known as acid trip or bad trip, has become a significant consumer product in India," noted Singh.
The NCB investigation has established that individuals based in Poland and the Netherlands are smuggling LSD blots into India. These blots are small and easy to transport, making it challenging to identify and intercept trafficking. Resembling postage stamps, the blots can be concealed anywhere by buyers and sellers without arousing suspicion.