Three men, who used the darknet to import marijuana from Canada and sell it for huge profits in Delhi, have been arrested by the Delhi Police’s crime branch. Police said they recovered 1,873 grams of fine quality Canadian marijuana from the three men, adding that unlike the marijuana grown in India, imported marijuana is costlier.
The darknet or dark web is a network within the internet which is not accessible through search engines. Over the past few years, criminals are increasingly using the darknet to smuggle drugs and weapons, police said.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Alok Kumar pegged the value of the seized contraband at ₹35 lakh. “The consignment was ordered on the darknet and payment was made in bitcoins. The selling price of the seized consignment is approximately ₹40,000-50,000 per ounce (28 grams), depending upon the paying capacity of the buyer. In the USA, it goes for about $600 per ounce,” Kumar said.
According to confessional statements of people arrested for dealing in marijuana in the past few years, about one gram of marijuana grown in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh costs ₹10, or ₹280 for 28 grams. The price per gram of marijuana bought from Himachal Pradesh is more. The rate also depends on where it is sold in Delhi. For example, marijuana in south and New Delhi areas would be costlier than in outer or north Delhi, police said.
Police said on November 8, they received a tipoff about a Delhi resident who had imported marijuana and was selling it in the city. Around 11.15am that day, police searched a house in Shalimar Bagh and arrested the three men from there.
Police identified the three as Karan Sajnani,24, Priyansh, 22, and Sanjeev Midha,39, all residents of Paschim Vihar, Delhi.
“During their interrogation, we learnt that Karan Sajnani has a family business of selling and purchasing used cars. Priyansh is his friend. Their common friend Pankaj Davar, a resident of Madipur, was engaged in procuring marijuana from the USA via courier and selling it in Delhi for a profit. About four months ago, Karan and Pankaj Davar procured a consignment of approximately 1.5 kilos of American marijuana, which was sold by Pankaj. About three months ago, another consignment was procured in the same manner. This time Pankaj cheated Karan and did not share the profit equitably, so Karan decided to work without him,” joint CP Kumar said.
Around two months ago, Karan and Priyansh procured a kilo of marijuana from abroad and sold it to two men, Golu and Vicky (identified only by their first names), in Paschim Vihar.
“A week ago, they ordered the recent consignment, which was intercepted by the crime branch. Priyansh has family business of tour and travels. Earlier, he used to buy marijuana from an Afghani national, who has now shifted his base to Russia. Priyansh is pursuing BTech from a reputed Institute of Technology in Rohini,” Kumar added.
The two men confessed that they had roped in Sanjeev Midha to provide a place where the consignment could be delivered. Midha, police said, is listed as a “bad character” with the Pashim Vihar police station. In police records, a bad character is someone whose criminal record in kept as a separate file in the police station concerned. The activities of a “bad character” are monitored by the police to ensure that (s)he does not commit any crime.
Police said Midha provided the two men with his brother-in-law Amandeep’s address. Police arrested the three after the consignment had reached Amandeep’s house in Shalimar Bagh.
Police said Karan and Priyansh used the darknet to procure the contraband a self-deleting chat messenger service to seal the deals. Joint CP Kumar said the tentative seller is identified on the dark web, which opens with a special internet onion browser.
“This onion browser directs internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network, consisting of more than 6,000 relays. After striking a deal, payment is made in bitcoins or other acceptable cryptocurrency. Priyansh paid for the consignment using his own bitcoin wallet. The drug parcels are routed through an international courier or express mail service,” said Kumar.