The arrest of alleged Nigerian drug kingpin, Folarin Abdulazees Andoyi, for possession of cocaine worth Rs 2.16 crore, is being seen as the biggest and most crucial action of the anti-narcotics cell of Pune City police, India, in 2022.
Police said 50-year-old Andoyi, a mechanical engineer, had been active in the cocaine racket for over a decade and had been arrested twice in the past.
Indian Express reported on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, that the crimes that he had been nabbed for, were not the reason Andoyi first arrived in the country over a decade ago.
According to the police, Andoyi first came to India from Nigeria in 2010 on a business visa for work.
Senior police inspector Vinayak Gaikwad of the anti-narcotics cell said, “In 2010, he landed in Mumbai. Probe revealed that he worked with some private establishments but soon started feeling that his income was not enough to fulfill his needs. Meanwhile, he came in contact with another Nigerian national involved in the narcotics trade, who suggested he sold drugs to earn more money,”
“This Nigerian national was later deported by the police. However, before leaving India, the Nigerian national handed over his contacts in the drug syndicate to Andoyi. Using these contacts, Andoyi allegedly got into the cocaine racket,” said Gaikwad.
In the latest arrest, Andoyi was nabbed from a car on the Undri-Mantarwadi road in Pune on December 9, 2022. During searches, cops said they recovered 1.81 kilograms of cocaine estimated at Rs 2,16,20,000.
The FIR in this case was registered at the Kondhwa police station under sections of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
During investigation, cops found Andoyi’s wife, identified as Lucy, a native of Manipur, was also allegedly involved in the offence. She was soon arrested and the couple is currently lodged in the Yerwada Central Prison.
“Andoyi first came on record after his arrest by the Customs Department in Mumbai in 2014 with possession of cocaine. He was later released on baiL. We got to know he was married twice in the past to women from his country. But around 2018, he got married to an Indian woman, Lucy, hailing from Manipur. He continued to work with the drug racketeers,” Gaikwad added.
In 2019, the Pune City police arrested him again, this time allegedly with a substantial quantity of cocaine. He was released on bail last year.
Police soon got to know that he had become active again in cocaine business and started zeroing in on him.
“He was residing in a residential society in Undri area. We arrested him last month with cocaine worth about Rs 2.16 crore. Probe into his cell phone details and other information revealed his wife was also involved in the offence. Her phone and bank account was used for the drugs trade. So, we arrested her in this case,” the officer added.
Police said Andoyi had allegedly procured cocaine from a Nigerian woman residing in Thane area. Search is on for this woman, who is suspected to be an important link in the cocaine racket in India.
Detailing Andoyi’s alleged modus operandi, inspector Gaikwad said he brought cocaine to Pune from his contacts in Thane. He then sold the contraband to the drug peddlers in Pune. These drug peddlers further sold cocaine in small packets to customers in Pune city.
According to the figures obtained from the Pune City police, the anti-narcotics cell has seized contraband worth Rs 5.37 crore from 94 accused persons arrested from different locations in the city in separate actions from January 1 to December 31, 2022.
Seven persons, including Andoyi, were held for cocaine trade during this period. Cocaine worth Rs 2,64,96,650 was allegedly seized from them in four separate cases. Cops also arrested 29 persons for selling Mephedrone (MD) in 19 cases. MD worth Rs 1.86 crore was recovered from them.
As many as 46 persons were arrested by the anti-narcotics cell with possession of marijuana in 39 cases, six persons for opium trade in two cases, two with brown sugar in two offences and one with MDMA with estimated worth of Rs 1.1 lakh. In other cases, a few persons were arrested for allegedly selling charas and opium poppy.