Touted as one of the biggest seizures in the national capital, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in a major operation across several states seized 500 kg of suspected Mephedrone, estimated to be worth Rs 30 crore, on Friday night.
The illicit contraband in 13 sacks—believed to have been manufactured in a factory in Sholapur—was found in a truck stated to be carrying papayas. The drugs were kept along with the papayas and were hidden under a tarpaulin used for covering the truck.
“This is one of the biggest seizures of a psychotropic substance in recent times and the biggest seizure of Mephedrone,” an official release said.
The truck originated from Kurutuwadi in Maharashtra’s Sholapur district and was nabbed after a hot chase as soon as it entered Delhi. The seized consignment is believed to be headed towards the West.
Extremely popular in the West and increasingly becoming a major drug of abuse in India, Mephedrone is a psychotropic stimulant of the amphetamine class, which gets its street name Meow Meow, from its chemical name 4-methylmethcathinone, or M-CAT.
The drug has been gaining popularity in India due to the fact that it was not considered a psychotropic substance till recently and was available easily.
After a prolonged campaign on its abuse by various enforcement agencies and state governments and the Bombay High Court, Mephedrone was included under the NDPS Act on February 5, 2015.
This is the first case in the country after its inclusion in the schedule to NDPS Act. Commercial quantity for this drug is fixed at 50 gm.
Two people, including the driver of the truck and a person who accompanied the truck after it reached Delhi, have been arrested and produced before the Saket Court in Delhi which has remanded both the accused to judicial custody.
In another related development, DRI has unearthed an international syndicate involved in smuggling cigarettes commonly used in rave parties worth more than Rs 3 crore.
Sources said the contraband was recovered from eight containers brought from Indonesia and which were given clearances from Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Tughlakabad on the basis of forged documents.
Besides the cigarettes, the officials also seized over 8,000 air conditioners of various brands and 6,000 units of R-22 gases, commonly used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.