Nigerians have emerged as the leading suppliers of cocaine to drug abusers in Hyderabad, enforcement officials in Indians have said.
Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Telangana.
According to officials, all Nigerian suppliers operate from Bengaluru and Mumbai.
“They keep shuffling between the two cities not to get identified,” said an excise official.
This year alone, 235 gm of cocaine had been seized in the city, which had led to the arrest of 12 peddlers, a report by TimesOfIndia noted.
Enforcement agencies have identified Emmanuel Ummudu alias Imma, James, Devine Ebuka, Suzu alias Ebuka, Ugochukwu Cheema, Good Luck and Ben, alias Banard, MTN, as the kingpins behind the supply of cocaine into the city.
In the two recent seizures, the arrested accused had confessed that they were provided with the drug by Ebuka, Ben and Ummudu.
“These Nigerians have multiple cases registered against them in the city.
“They were arrested a few times before and are out on bail. To avoid imprisonment, they started using associates to supply the drug here,” assistant excise superintendent, N Anji Reddy, said.
While Ebuka and his brother, Cheema Good Luck, have been into cocaine peddling, excise officials said Ben is more enterprising as he also operates an escort service from Uganda.
Ummudu married a Mumbai-based bank employee, Leela Shivakumar. Cyberabad police arrested the couple in 2018. A fellow Nigerian, Bongani Lucky, is supplying the drug to his associates in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Since it is difficult to zero in on suppliers who use SIM cards of Ivory Coast and operate through WhatsApp in other states, law enforcement agencies are apprehending carriers who enter the city to deliver cocaine.