Darknet drugs racket: NCB widens probe, arrests 3 more from Nagpur

New Delhi, Feb 19 () Widening its probe into the busting and arrest of the country's first darknet-based narcotics operator, the NCB on Wednesday said it has nabbed three more persons and seized over 135 kg of psychotropic drugs and tablets worth Rs 4 crore.

The agency said it has arrested Nagpur-based Sachin Makade (33), who holds a diploma in pharmacy; Tejas Patel (28); and Barun Chauhan (33), an MBA, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act after raids were conducted in this 'Orange City' of Maharashtra on February 11.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the federal anti-drugs agency, had on February 2 arrested India's first 'darknet' narcotics operative from Lucknow, Dipu Singh, who allegedly shipped hundreds of psychotropic drug parcels abroad in the garb of sex stimulation medicines.

The fresh arrests were made after Singh's interrogation about his alleged illegal activities and contacts, NCB's Delhi zone director K P S Malhotra said.

"These people arrested from Nagpur were involved in arranging the drugs shipments from Singapore to USA and UK," Malhotra said.

About 135 kg of psychotropic drugs and another 1 lakh such tablets worth Rs 4 crore have been seized as part of the fresh action, he said.

Darknet refers to the deep hidden internet platform that is used for narcotics sale, exchange of pornographic content and other illegal activities by using the secret alleys of The Onion Router (Tor) to stay away from the surveillance of law enforcement agencies.

The NCB had earlier said that payment gateways of cryptocurrency like Bitcoins and Litecoin were used by these alleged darknet narcotics operators to conceal the transactions from regulatory agencies.

The orders were procured from darknet and routed through various wicker identities, WhatsApp and some business-to-business platforms. NES SMN
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