The chocolates looked delicious and innocent enough, but they were hiding a sinister ingredient – marijuana.
Smelling something fishy after their children started behaving differently and repeatedly asked for the same chocolate priced at about Rs 20, some parents in Karnataka’s Mangaluru alerted the police.
The Mangaluru police raided two shops and seized a total of 120 kg of the drug-laced chocolates – 85 kg from one shop and 35 kg from the other. The two shop owners were arrested and have been remanded in judicial custody.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner Kuldeep Jain said, “A Forensic Science Laboratory report that we received on Tuesday has confirmed the presence of marijuana. The chocolates were being procured from north India, specifically from Uttar Pradesh. The involvement of the shop owners and other people is still being further investigated.”
A police official said one of the shop owners was arrested from the Mangaluru North police station limits and the other was caught from the Mangaluru South police station limits.
A similar seizure took place in Raichur recently, where two shopkeepers were arrested for selling drug-laced chocolates. Police suspect these seizures may be part of a bigger racket and are carrying out an in-depth investigation to arrest the mastermind and the other people involved.
Experts say the sale of such chocolates is a worrying development and that the trend could be dangerous.
Dr S Mujahid Hussain, a paediatrician, said, “Once children are addicted, it becomes extremely difficult for us to de-addict them. Because children’s tastes are governed by their taste buds, they love what tastes good to them. It is important for parents to watch what children are eating and give them things in moderation.”
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