Drug peddlers again attack Mumbai NCB sleuths

For the third time in nine months, a Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) team was attacked by armed drug peddlers, including some foreigners, during a raid late on Thursday, officials said here on Friday.

The shocking incident happened at Mankhurd in the northeast suburbs of Mumbai when the NCB team was following a tip-off on a gang of foreigner drug peddlers operating from the forests near the railway lines, NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede said.

“The gang of drug-peddlers suddenly pounced on the NCB team with weapons, machetes, and stones. One of the officials suffered a head injury while 4 others suffered superficial wounds,” he said.

This is the second attack on the NCB sleuths in a week and the third in 9 months, since the November 2020 incident in Goregaon by aggressive drug peddlers fighting the anti-narcotics actions against them.

However, the NCB managed to nab one Nigerian and seized a huge haul of drugs comprising 7.5 gms cocaine, 254 gms heroin and 52 gms Mephedrone, totally valued over Rs 1 Crore in the illicit markets, he said.

Following secret tips that a gang of 4-5 foreigners was conducting the illicit drug peddling business, the NCP laid a trap and intercepted Obiorah Ekwelar of Nigeria’s Onisha.

The gang, carrying weapons had become a nuisance for the entire area as they operated from the swampy area near the Mankhurd railway lines with the Thane Creek on one side, and many locals had complained of the menace.

While Ekwelar was arrested, the others managed to escape taking advantage of the difficult terrain and the darkness, said the NCB.