Wing Commander G Rajasekhara Reddy, currently posted in Delhi, was apprehended in a joint operation by a team of NCB officials from Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. The NCB team had recently arrested three persons – Bengaluru-based scientist Venkata Rama Rao, his wife and an associate Ravi Shankar Rao – for their involvement in the racket. The scientist and his accomplice were caught in Hyderabad while they were transporting 231 kg of amphetamine to Bengaluru.
The scientist’s wife was taken into custody from a rented house in Hebbagodi in the city. The NCB team seized Rs 1.23 crore in cash and 30 grams of amphetamine from her. She was handling the logistics and finance part of the racket, the officials said. Rama Rao, a native of Hyderabad, had shifted to Bengaluru a year ago after joining a reputable company as a research scientist. A senior NCB official told DH: “Based on the information provided by the arrested persons, Rajasekhara Reddy was arrested when he was trying to flee in his car. He is from Andhra Pradesh and is suspected to be funding the manufacture of the drug.” “During investigation, it was found that Reddy used to visit Hyderabad once in three months. But he is still being questioned and his background verified,” the official said.
Sources in the NCB said it was a well-knit racket spread across various states, perhaps also involving international racketeers. Rama Rao used to manufacture amphetamine in a laboratory in Hyderabad and would supply it to dealers in Chennai, Kerala, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and other cities. “As of now, we know they have set up a laboratory in Bolarum in Hyderabad. We have locked it and taken it into our possession. The NCB is investigating whether they operated similar labs elsewhere and whether they were manufacturing only amphetamine or any other drug,” said another official, adding that the racket was also operating in South West Asian countries. The NCB sleuths have informed the IAF about Reddy’s arrest and the Air Force authorities are waiting to know about his role in the racket, said the official.
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