Mumbai Charas Catch Trail Leads Into Himachal’s Malana Valley
Shimla: Roots of the contraband trade in Charas run deep in Kullu valley as the police attempts to crack the supply chain that after evading law agencies was responsible for having successfully transported a 376 Kg consignment to the high value market of Mumbai.
Speaking about the investigation DD Shivthare from the anti-narcotic wing of Mumbai police said, “We have indentified the main kingpin of the whole transaction but till he is not arrested the police would withhold disclosing the person’s name.”
Shivthare who head the investigation mentioned that in all five persons had so far been arrested in the case related to a surprise catch of 376 Kgs of charas that was intercepted in Thane, Mumbai on 6th April.
Whereas the Mumbai police are heading the investigation, local assistance is being provided by the Kullu police. “Several people are under surveillance,” said KK Indoria, district police chief adding, “whatever assistance is needed by the Mumbai police is being provided.”
“Influential people, with not enough known means of income but living lavish lifestyles are on the police radar,” he said.
Sources revealed that joint police operations had been launched to nab a resident of Jaan village near Manikaran that provides access to quality charas growing fields in the inaccessible highlands of Malana valley.
Incidentally Malana Cream is considered one of the finest marijuana in the world and is touted as the champagne of the cannabis resin market.
Speaking about the underground network, Indoria said economic disparity was leading many residents to take to growing contraband crops in remote and inaccessible regions to make easy money.
“Within Kullu valley, last year, we made a catch of 210 Kgs of Charas and about 20 kgs of opium. Since January, we have already seized 80 Kgs of charas besides the huge catch in Mumbai,” he said.
The Mumbai consignment had got there after being transported by a truck loaded with an apple consignment from Kullu with the charas neatly packed in 12 boxes camouflaged as ‘Himachal Apples’ boxes.
At Rs 1 Lakh per Kg the drug is valued at about Rs 3.76 crore in the Mumbai market and increases 10 fold if it gets into the international market.
The Thane police stumbled upon these Himachal Apples boxes from Tavera vehicle when it sped past a naka in a attempt to evade spot checking. Chunnilal Kumar (32) and Pawan Wadhwa (33) were arrested with the vehicle.
Following the trail backwards led to Rakesh Awasthi, a resident of Kullu whose truck was used for transporting the charas to Mumbai, being arrested.