The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted a major international racket involving smuggling of 135 kg party drug Ketamine Hydrochloride. The value of the seized drug is estimated at Rs 13.5 crore in international market.
Subsequent to the seizure in Mumbai, a further 40 kg Ketamine worth Rs 4 cr was seized in Delhi. A Taiwan national was arrested in this connection in Mumbai. The drug was supposed to be smuggled to Taiwan.
The first seizure of the party drug was made at a courier company in Bandra on Friday from where it was being sent to Taiwan. The courier was allegedly booked by Taiwan national Liu Keng Chuan who was also later arrested from Bandra.
According to DRI Assistant Director, KA Shaikh, besides Bandra, a part of the drug was also seized from a laboratory-cum-godwon in Bhiwandi on Saturday. While 40 kg was seized from Bandra, 95 kg was recovered at the godown.
Shaikh said that a gang of Chinese nationals are suspected to be involved in manufacturing of the drug.
Another officer from DRI said, on condition of anonymity, that about four to five Chinese nationals having Great Britain-Northern Ireland passport were making trips to Mumbai on business visa for the last about five months. The DRI has launched hunt for all these Chinese nationals.
The officer said that various chemicals were also seized during the raid in Bhiwandi. “We are finding out what kind of chemicals are these,” said a senior DRI officer adding that if any of them turns out to be narcotic drug, the Taiwan national would be booked under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
“Ketamine doesn’t fall under the narcotic drug category and that is the reason why the Taiwan national at present has been booked under the Customs Act for smuggling,” the officer said. Chuan is remanded to DRI custody till November 27 by a magistrate’s court.
Prior to this seizure, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had so far registered nine cases against several people in the city and neighboring Thane district.
FDA officers said that the drug has been mostly smuggled to countries like Malaysia, China via Singapore and Iran. These are the countries where the manufacturing of the drug is under control thus the demand in these countries is very high.