Sleuths of the Commissioners Task Force police have arrested a drug peddling gang, including five local youth and two foreign nationals, on charges of peddling recreational drug methylene-dioxy-methamphetamine (Ecstasy) and ganja among college students in Guntur and Krishna districts.
DCP (L&O-1) V. Harshavardhan Raju produced before media the seized contraband at a press conference on Saturday.
Mr. Raju said the gang had been reportedly purchasing Ecstasy drug from Bengaluru and Hyderabad for about 2,000 to 2,500 per gram and allegedly selling the same in the city for up to 4,000. They also sourced ganja from Visakhapatnam Agency for lesser prices and were selling it here for profit, he said. The police seized 14 gm of Ecstasy drug and 2.5 kg of ganja, cellphones and a motorcycle from the gang.
The gang members include Sayina Ananth Kumar, 26, of Kanuru; Kandula Srikanth, 30, of Krishnalanka; Aravapalli Maruthi, 22, of Poranki; Manne Hemanth Raj, 26, of Patamata; Sk. Samdhani, 18, of Tadigadapa, and Yona Liswa Shabani, 25, of Tanzania and Mohammad Gahel Rasool of Sudan. Both the foreign nationals live in Vaddeswaram of Mangalagiri, police said.
The police said that Ananth Kumar, Maruthi, Hemanth and Samdhani would allegedly source ganja from Visakhapatnam and exchange it for Ecstasy drug from Shabani, Rasool and Srikanth.
Ananth who was an animation professional was in jail in a murder case and had a history sheet against him. After coming out on bail, he teamed up with three others to earn money and allegedly started selling ganja. He along with Samdhani had been arrested earlier this year in a ganja case.
The gang was arrested by Commissioners Task Force police when it was allegedly attempting to sell the drug in Penamaluru. The accused were handed over to Penamaluru police for further investigation.