In Kolkata, India, news of the largest darknet drug bust has surfaced. The Narcotics Control Bureau announced last week that two people were arrested, a drug kingpin and LSD dealer, and his partner. These LSD vendors have been responsible for drug sales across five different college campuses in the local area.
“The amount [seized demonstrates] and shows LSD blots are being consumed in significant volumes. We are trying to get in touch with the [college campus officials during our investigation],” said Dilip Srivastava, the Narcotics Control Bureau Director of this Zone.
The frenzy of buying from darknet marketplaces, NCB investigators claimed, has spread across these colleges, where students are first lured into the consumption of synthetic drugs and then turned into peddlers. Darknet sales are common occurrances for college campuses worldwide, as even seen in the United Kindom cheap drug crisis.
The drugs purchased from the darknet has been a problem for the local authorities recently, with other arrests recently. Another busy week saw three people, including Nikhail Lakhwan, a local disc-jockey (DJ Nikhil) taken in for dealing various amounts of hash and marijuana. Arrested with Lakhwan were accomplices, Henry Lawrence and Robert Dixon. It was during their confessions that the three men gave up the bigger fish and kingpin.
Most notably of recent arrests is Niloy Ghosh. The NCB forces grabbed this 22-year-old Bachelor of Business Administration student, and recent graduate. He is also the grandchild of Dilip Gupta, a former chairman and government official of the Bidhannagar Municipality. This arrest thus adds insult to injury of this messy darknet drug bust.
Ghosh was arrested, only because officers confirmed based on the evidence and testimony of the three that his contact was found in a recent list pulled from the darknet. Ghosh was recently involved with his family-run pharmacy business prior to this bust. This medical facility was also raided by government officials. Ghosh didn’t even notice government surveillance on him. After 2am on Tuesday in front of a restaurant in the CK Block neighborhood, he was taken into custody. On his person were vials of LSD bloterss. His car was also taken into evidence as a potential drug trafficking tool.
Authorities also arrested an accomplice, Jerome Watson. Watson worked during the day as a business manager. He is also a local resident of Komedan Bagan near the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai crossing. Watson, who used to look after supplies at parties, was shortly arrested after Ghosh.
Found between them were 150 LSD vial blotters, and over 14 grams of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy. The street value of all drugs combined was more than Rs 370,000 for the LSD and 123,500 for the MDMA. While this is no more than 10,000 USD, it is still significant for this part of India.
“This has been the largest seizure of LSD in Kolkata in recent times. [But what has been alarming and] equally worrying is the amount of MDMA [we seized] in the form of candy,” said Srivastava.
Drug dealing in India has been on the rise recently. Both parties confessed to their crimes and admitted guilt. During the interrogation, they both confirmed that they attended the local college. However, this was not the only duo that confessed to selling darknet drugs at local college campuses. The NCB found more students in Kidderpore, Science City, New Town and Salt Lake. LSD blotters were found on all those arrested.
Officials could not fully grasp how so many drugs could be purchased by young college students. The only hypothesis circulating is that they used Bitcoin wallets to make purchases at one of a variety of DNM available to them. Ghosh admitted during his confession that he was able to secure sales for the LSD blotters using the darknet. He was responsible for more than 85% of all LSD and MDMA distributed in the local party scene. Those details about his vendor name or which darknet marketplace used were not released to the public.
Ghosh demonstrated great success up until his arrest. He had been dealing with fellow students and party players for at least three years. More recently, the locals saw Ghosh driving around in a fancy brand new SUV. While this is common in today’s world to drive fashionably, certainly not in the CJ Block, which represents a poorer local class.
“It seems he had penetrated deeper into the rich and wealthy [members of the city community],” said an NCB official.
Ghosh’s immediate family has not made a comment at this time. However, knowing the depth of his grandfather’s government involvement, a comment should be coming sooner than later.