The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) seized Rs 5,000 crore worth of Mendrax, a banned addictive drug, when it raided a factory and two warehouses in Rajasthan’s Udaipur district on Friday.
The seizure included 25 tonnes of tablets and chemicals used for manufacturing the drugs, the total worth of which is estimated to be Rs 5,000 crore in the international market.
According to drug control officers in Mumbai –– one of the biggest Mendrax consumption cities in India –– a kilogram of the tablets in the international market costs approximately Rs 20 lakh.
Some of the western Indian states, especially Rajasthan and Gujarat, have illegal pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the tablet, mainly for sale in Europe, US and South Africa. The business is considered highly lucrative as the manufacturing cost of a tablet in India is just a couple of rupees while it can fetch up to Rs 150 in the international market. Sources said the factory supplied the drug to the international market at a premium.
Acting on a tip-off, the DRI raided a factory in Kaladwas in Udaipur and detained its owner Ravi Dhudhwani, a local. His interrogation led them to warehouses in Gudli Industrial area of Udaipur and Dhunida village of Rajsamand, where the tablets were being stored.
On Friday night, following the raid, the Udaipur factory was covered with a tent and soldiers of the Border Security Force (BSF) were deployed to keep guard. Over the next three days, the DRI inventoried everything seized -- drugs, chemical and logs -- which officials claim is its biggest haul of the banned substance in recent years.
On Tuesday, Subhash, a relative of Dhudhwani’s who was arrested in Mumbai on Monday, was brought to Udaipur for questioning. DRI officials claimed Subhash is the key person behind the drug racket; he lives in Dubai and had come to Mumbai to celebrate Diwali with his family.
Four other people were arrested as well, and the DRI expects to make more arrests over the next few days.