Customs seize 300 kg of date rape drug | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Customs seize 300 kg of date rape drug

mumbai Updated: Aug 31, 2010 01:39 IST
Manish Pachouly
Manish Pachouly
Hindustan Times
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A week after the Narcotics Control Bureau seized party drugs worth Rs 26 crore from Thane, the Customs on Saturday seized 300 kg of popular party and date rape drug, ketamine hydrochloride, valued internationally at Rs 3 crore, at the city's international airport.

The consignment, found Air Cargo Complex of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport, was concealed in 12 boxes containing pomegranate. The contraband was to be smuggled to Taipei in Taiwan. The Customs arrested Chinese national Sung Yuan Hsuan.

Customs officials posted at the export branch of the cargo complex found the drug in the agricultural product shed.

The Customs authorities were on the lookout for Hsuan and were tracking his smuggling activities after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Bangalore had issued a red corner notice for him. The DRI in Bangalore wanted Hsuan in connection with an earlier seizure of ketamine.

Immigration authorities detained Hsuan when he was about to board the Cathay Pacific flight CX-684 to Hong Kong, late on Saturday night. He was handed over to the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Mumbai Customs, which arrested him on Sunday after recording his statement.

The AIU found that Hsuan, before flying to Taipei, had booked the pomegranate consignment for export to Hong Kong through air cargo.

"When AIU officers searched him, they found that he was also trying to smuggle $26,500 [Rs 12.07 lakh]," an officer said requesting anonymity. The currency was found in Hsuan's hand luggage.

This is the second largest seizure of ketamine in Mumbai. The DRI in Mumbai had seized 400 kg of the drug in October 2008 from Mumbai and neighbouring Bhiwandi in Thane district. It was to be smuggled to China.

Last week, the Narcotics Control Bureau seized party drugs, ephedrine and methamphetamine, worth Rs 26 crore from an industrial area in Thane. Eight foreign nationals and an Indian were arrested.