Suspected drug racketeer Lalit Patil sent to Pune police’s custody till November 7

A court in Maharashtra’s Pune city on Wednesday remanded till November 7 drug racketeer Lalit Patil and two others in the custody of the city police, who are investigating the seizure of mephedrone from outside the Sassoon General Hospital here.

The development comes a day after the Pune police received the custody of Patil and two others from a Mumbai court. The trio was produced in a Pune court, which sent them to police custody.

Seeking their remand for 14 days, the prosecution told the court that a thorough investigation is required in the case as the magnitude of the case is bigger and needed to be unearthed.

The defence counsel, representing Patil, however, objected to the prosecution’s 14-day custody demand and told the court that Patil had a threat from the police authorities. He also claimed that during his stay in the Sassoon General Hospital, he was beaten up by the police.

After hearing the argument, the court remanded Patil and two others in the police custody.

Patil, the main accused in a Rs 300 crore mephedrone seizure case, was arrested in Bengaluru on October 17, more than two weeks after he escaped from the government-run Sassoon Hospital in Pune.

A trustee of an education institute in Pune was arrested for facilitating his escape from the hospital.

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The Pune police on September 30 arrested a man from outside the Sassoon hospital and seized mephedrone worth Rs 2 crore from him. The probe led to the arrest of a hospital canteen employee who claimed that the drugs were supplied by Patil, who was admitted to the hospital.

As per the Pune police, Patil escaped from the government-run facility on October 2 when he was taken for X-ray imaging. Arrested in 2022 in a drug case at Chakan in Pune district, he was lodged in Pune’s Yerawada prison and admitted to the hospital for the last three months.

The Sakinaka police in Mumbai on October 6 said that they had seized 151 kg of mephedrone worth Rs 300 crore and arrested several persons from different cities during an operation that lasted two months. A drug manufacturing unit located in Nashik district was also busted during the probe.

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