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Bhushan Patil remanded in police custody till Oct 16; Lalit still at large


PUNE police on Wednesday told a city court that arrested drug racketeer Bhushan Patil, his brother and fugitive drug cartel kingpin Lalit Patil and their aide Abhishek Balkawade together ran the mephedrone manufacturing unit in Nashik, which was recently busted by Mumbai police. Lalit Patil is on the run after escaping from Sassoon hospital here on October 2.

Police made the submission before the court while seeking custodial remand of Bhushan and Balkawade, who were arrested from near the Nepal border on Tuesday in a joint operation with the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh police.

Pune police also told the court that the two were about to flee to Nepal when they were arrested. According to police, Bhushan is a chemical engineering graduate and had set up the mephedrone manufacturing unit in Nashik’s Shinde village, which was busted by Mumbai police on October 5 with 150 kg of mephedrone worth Rs 300 crore seized.


The submission by Pune police comes as a major revelation in the light of the fact that till his escape from Sassoon General Hospital on October 2, Lalit (34) was in judicial custody in connection with the multi-crore mephedrone manufacturing and smuggling racket busted by Pimpri-Chinchwad police in October 2020.


Bhushan and Balkawade were remanded in police custody till October 16. While seeking their custodial remand, Pune police told the court that Bhushan and Balkawade had allegedly wiped out data from their phones. Police said they would take help from cyber experts to recover this data.

“The probe has revealed that the accused were in contact with several people from Maharashtra and other states for distribution of the manufactured drug. Sale of mephedrone seems to be the main source of income of the accused and we will investigate the wealth they have amassed in this way. We are also investigating whether the accused have set up mephedrone manufacturing units elsewhere,” investigation officer Sunil Thopte told the court in his remand application.

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