In one of the biggest narcotics hauls in the Capital, Delhi Police on Sunday recovered over 100 kilograms of US-bound ephedrine worth Rs 1 billion and arrested four people, including a NRI from Canada.
Two of the arrested drug smugglers were nabbed from the Indira Gandhi International Airport while the other two were nabbed from Ludhiana (Punjab) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh), police said.
"Ephedrine is a major component in preparing banned drugs like Ecstasy and Ice that are consumed in parties worldwide. These drugs are banned not only in the US and Canada but also in India," Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav said.
"The recovery is one of the biggest in the country. It is for the first time that such a big haul of party drugs was recovered," added Yadav.
Yadav said Gurdish Singh Toor, a 29-year-old NRI, had come to India from Canada two years back and he has been sending these drugs to the US and Canada through air and water routes for the same period.
"He was contacted by Canadian and Chinese drug cartels and he was supplying this drug to them," said Yadav.
The official said that Toor, after dropping out of school, started farming marijuana and later joined hands with drug cartels.
"We were aware that the demand for party drugs has increased in Delhi and drugs were also being smuggled out of India from the capital," Yadav said.
He added that the recovered stock of ephedrine was neatly packed in small pouches that were placed in cavities in framed paintings.
"The drug was being smuggled out of the country through courier. The consignment was supposed to be delivered to one Robin in San Diego, California," said
"We came to know of three months ago and then we started to trace the suppliers," said Yadav adding that the gang was operating in India for two years.
Police said that Toor was actively being helped by Amit Agarwal, a unani and ayurvedic expert who had helped him establish contact with private laboratories in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Police said Toor was also helped by Kailash Chand Jindal, owner of a pharmaceutical company in Jharkhand.
Yadav further said that Paramjeet Singh, director of an export and import firm, Golden Shields Private Limited, in Ludhiana was the fourth partner of Toor in India to smuggle drugs.
"Raids are also being carried out in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand and more arrests can be made," said Yadav.
In the past 19 months, over 180 foreign nationals, a large number of them Nigerians, have been arrested in the capital on charges of possession and peddling in narcotics.