Drug trafficking racket busted, Tamil film producer identified as mastermind

At least three people were arrested and a large amount of chemical used to make narcotics was seized in Delhi as part of a joint operation conducted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Delhi Police’s Special Cell to bust an international drug trafficking network spread across India, New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia. A Tamil film producer has been identified as the mastermind of the nexus, who is currently on the run.

The three accused persons were arrested in Delhi and 50 kg of pseudoephedrine was seized from their possession.

Pseudoephedrine, a precursor chemical, is used to make methamphetamine, a dangerous and highly addictive synthetic drug. Even though it has some legal uses, it is classified as a controlled substance in India, bringing strict regulation on its production, possession, trade, export and use. Illegal possession and trade is punishable by upto 10 years of imprisonment under the NDPS Act, 1985.

Trafficking of drugs was carried out via air and sea cargo hidden in food products like health mix powder and dessicated coconut.

The NCB is cooperating with authorities in New Zealand and Australia after information was received from the New Zealand Customs and Australian police that large quantities of pseudoephedrine were being sent to the two countries.

Pseudoephedrine sells for approximately Rs 1.5 crore per kilogram in Australia and New Zealand.

Further inputs from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) indicated that the source of the consignments was Delhi.

In order to bust the network, a joint team of the Delhi Police Special Cell and NCB was constituted.

After four months of intensive technical and field surveillance by the team, it was learnt that the operatives in Delhi were trying to send another consignment to Australia.

Twenty-four hour physical surveillance was carried out by the Special Cell which eventually led to a godown in Basai Darapur, West Delhi.

On February 15, when the operatives were trying to pack the pseudoephedrine in a consignment of multigrain food mix, the personnel from the NCB and Special Cell raided the premises of the godown, leading to the recovery of 50 kg of pseudoephedrine and the arrest of the three accused persons from the spot.

The three belong to Tamil Nadu.

After interrogation, they revealed that a total of 45 consignments were sent over the past three years containing approximately 3,500 kg of pseudoephedrine valued at over Rs 2,000 crore in the international market.

The mastermind of the nexus has been identified as a Tamil film producer, who is on the run.

Efforts are being made to nab him so that the original source of pseudoephedrine can be ascertained.

Published By:

Karishma Saurabh Kalita

Published On:

Feb 25, 2024

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