In one of the biggest drug busts this year, the Bengaluru Police on 26 March arrested three men with a consignment of 500 kg marijuana worth Rs 1.5 crore. The police had roped in a film studio to execute their operation.
Bengaluru Police procured fake currencies used in movies from a studio to “purchase” 500 kg of marijuana. Stating they were initially anxious, an officer, who took part in the operation, said although the studio currencies in Rs 2,000 denominations looked real, they all had the same serial number.
Elaborating on the operation, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said that officers of the Whitefield division were asked to conduct a detailed investigation as the drug supply in the area was high. “Our officers identified some peddlers, but they wanted to get to the source. So, they convinced some peddlers to introduce some undercover cops to the suppliers,” said Pant.
Soon, a peddler introduced cops disguised as peddlers who could be potential “big customers”. In the first meeting, the suppliers asked the cops about the quantity of marijuana they wanted to buy. “Since our officers wanted to seize as much contraband as possible, they asked them how much they can provide. They told them that money was not a problem, and they were ready to buy even one tonne of drugs. But the suppliers asked to show the money before going ahead with the purchase,” Pant said.
The undercover cops promised to show the cash in the next meeting. Since the police department could not spare Rs 1 crore and there were security concerns, they came up with a plan to approach a film studio. “We approached a film studio in Bengaluru and asked them to provide fake currency worth Rs 1 crore. The currency notes looked real, but they didn’t have the legal requirements of a real note,” said an officer part of the operation.
A dark brown suitcase filled with fake currency was then taken to the second meeting with the suppliers. “One of our biggest concerns was whether the suppliers would take a closer look at the notes as they all had the same serial number. But the meeting went smoothly, and they agreed to bring 500 kg of ganja (marijuana),” said the officer.
Following the meetings, on 25 March, the consignment arrived in a truck in the city. A meeting was arranged on 26 March morning in KR Puram in Bengaluru to hand over the drugs. “How they transported the drugs also was a revelation for us. They had created a secret compartment behind the driver’s seat and the rest of the truck was filled with other goods,” said Pant.
The Bengaluru Police convinced the suppliers to ensure that the transaction took place in a closed environment and asked the suppliers to come to a warehouse in KR Puram. Once they arrived and showed the hidden stash, police took the men and material into custody.
Police arrested three men, identified as Dayal Ram, 38, Poona Ram, 24, and Budha Ram, 23 — all residents of Rajasthan. The commissioner added that they are on the lookout for other associates of these men.