Date: 14-Feb-2020

How 21-year-old Lucknow lad ran global drug racket in garb of selling online medicines

A multi-crore global drug racket was being operated through the dark web in the garb of online sale of medicines from a nondescript house tucked away in Alambagh area of the city. And the 21-year-old kingpin had dabbled in a failed online business before going fullthrottle into shipping contraband to Europe through Dark Net. Son of a retired PCS officer and hotel management graduate from Lucknow, the drug dealer, Dipu Singh, was arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Delhi, sleuths last week. At least 12,000 psychotropic tablets masked as medicine and fitness supplements were seized from his home and the cache is being examined for cannabis content. He skirted the law for over two years by accepting payment in cryptocurrency. The case was cracked after a consignment shipped to United Kingdom was seized by NCB, Mumbai, on December 9 last year.A tip-off was received about another drug parcel of 10,200 tablets being shipped to UK, which was also tracked down in New Delhi. “We checked the source of the parcel and found the kingpin’s address in Lucknow,” said an NCB officer. Hotel management grad traded in drugs since 2018 We checked the source of the parcel and found the kingpin’s address in Lucknow,” said an NCB officer. “We set up a surveillance team which tracked down his residence to Alambagh,” said an official. Sleuths said, when Dipu was nabbed and questioned, he revealed he was active in drug trade since 2018 and had dispatched over 600 consignments across the world. Singh had pursued a bachelors in hotel management from a private university in Lucknow in 2017 and after not getting a suitable placement launched his online medicine sale firm, which flopped. In 2018, he came into contact with a friend online and switched to Dark Net for trading in psychotropic substances and made profit in crores of rupees. His channel of operation and other drug conduits were being probed, said investigators. Officers also said Dark Net vendors and sellers are listed in codes, which has to be cracked. NCB’s Lucknow unit said after the crackdown and serial arrests in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune, the business of online drug-trade had shifted to cities like Lucknow.