Nashik court remands drug racketeer Lalit Patil, three others in police custody till Dec 18

A court in Nashik on Saturday remanded till December 18 drug racketeer Lalit Patil and three persons arrested in connection with a multi-crore mephedrone seizure case.

The Nashik police on Friday night took the custody of Patil, Rohit Chaudhari, Zeeshan Sheikh and Harish Pant and brought them to the city from Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail before placing them under arrest.

The four and another accused, Shivaji Shinde, were produced in the Nashik District and Sessions Court, which heard the arguments of the government and defence lawyers, said an official.

While Patil, Chaudhari, Sheikh and Pant were remanded in police custody till December 18, the court sent Shinde to judicial custody, which is usually for 14 days, said the police official.

Patil emerged as the kingpin of a drug racket that was busted by the Sakinaka police in Mumbai in a two-month-long operation, which included the seizure of mephedrone worth about Rs 300 crore and a raid at a drug manufacturing unit in Nashik.

The case took a new turn after Patil, who was in Pune’s Yerawada prison over his role in another drug case but was admitted to the Sassoon Hospital in that city, escaped on October 2 while being taken for X-ray imaging. He was arrested in Karnataka two weeks later.

Days after the Mumbai police action in Nashik, the local police had also seized mephedrone and chemicals to produce the drug worth Rs 5.8 crore during a raid. They registered a case against Patil and others and later sought their remand, said a police official.

Besides Patil, more than two dozen persons have been arrested in connection with the case so far.

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