The police also seized a red Maruti Swift car, which was used to transport the cocaine, one swiping machine, and four mobile phones.
Hyderabad: A Paytm transaction between a drug dealer and his client revealed a network of purchasers in which prominent names of the city figured.
Though the drug peddler was caught in June, the case has been kept under wraps because the purchaser of the drug is an influential person. Even within enforcement agencies, the information is on a “need to know” basis.
In June, excise enforcement officials arrested a couple, Sheikh Fahad and his wife Salima Shaikh, at Banjara Hills near Saibaba temple and seized nine grams of cocaine and `3 lakh cash from them. The police also seized a red Maruti Swift car, which was used to transport the cocaine, one swiping machine, and four mobile phones.
The couple was allegedly involved in transportation and sale of cocaine, police said.
“Fahad’s phone was confiscated and when his Paytm transactions were checked, we found the highest paid amount was close to a lakh, which we suspected was for buying cocaine. The online payments exposed his client list.”
The person who made the one lakh purchase is owner of a well-known pub who has friends among the city’s elite. Neither the police nor the excise department will confirm whether the pub owner has been arrested.
Sources told this newspaper that the pub owner wasn’t a drug user himself but bought drugs on behalf of users. It was a transaction made from his account that got him into a soup.
The senior officer with the Hyderabad Task Force said that "pub owners have been warned not to encourage drug abusers or entry of drugs into the pub. If found, the owners will also be booked as a separate party”.
He said drug abuse in the city has reduced by 20 per cent from what it was in 2017. "With the local police, excise department and anti-narcotics unit cracking down on peddlers, drug peddlers are diverted to other cities. In 2018 over 10 international peddlers were deported from the city. On July 16, too, the local has cracked down on illegally staying foreign students."
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