Kochi: The Excise Crime Branch wing is trying to unearth the narcotic and film industry links of a woman who is close to a few drug runners who were arrested a fortnight ago. The latter had been referring to her as 'teacher' during the interrogation and had taken charge of three canines which was found along with the gang in a car.
The Excise had handed over the high-breed dogs, which were used by the gang as a cover for drug trafficking, to this woman.
The investigation team suspects that the woman, who is a native of Pandikudy in Mattancherry, has strong connections to the film world. They also suspect that she was the link between the five accused and some persons in the cinema field. She appeared for questioning along with her lawyer on Sunday morning.
The accused had with them three dogs of Rottweiler and Cane Corso breeds during their arrest. One of these dogs is priced around Rs 80,000. As per the rules, these dogs, which were found along with the gang, should be attached as material objects recovered from the accused, handed over to the animal welfare department and auctioned subsequently.
However, the excise officials handed over these dogs to this woman who was close to them.
The Excise Crime Branch brought her under the purview of investigation after it was found that her claims being a teacher and a relative of one of the accused were false.
The Rottweiler breed often accepts only a single owner and becomes violent before strangers; but was seen cosying up to the woman. The excise officials who ignored this aspect initially began to pay attention to it after the raids and leniency shown to a woman member of the gang raised a furore. They believed she indeed was close to the dog as were the arrested youths.
Subsequently, the excise officials began a probe to ascertain the woman's antecedents.
Five people were arrested with 90gm of MDMA, a popular party drug, worth ₹1 crore in the open market in the wee hours of August 19. They are Sreemon, Mohammad Fabas, Shamna, Aju alias Amal, and Mohammad Afsal.