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International link to local drugs haul

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which comes under the Union home ministry, raided two illegal manufacturing units in Mira Road and Thane, seized synthetic drugs worth more than Rs 26 crore and arrested eight foreigners and an Indian for their involvement.

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2010 01:16 IST
HT Correspondent

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which comes under the Union home ministry, raided two illegal manufacturing units in Mira Road and Thane, seized synthetic drugs worth more than Rs 26 crore and arrested eight foreigners and an Indian for their involvement.

Yashodhan Wanage, zonal director of the NCB, on Wednesday said the two raids were conducted over two to three days, starting August 20.

Acting on a tip-off, the NCB raided an illegal shed in Ganga Industrial Estate at Asangaon village, Thane district, on August 20. Wanage said 8.45 kg of methamphetamine (in crystal form, known as ‘ice’ in the drug circuit) worth more than Rs. 8.5 crore, 10 litres of methamphetamine liquid worth more than Rs 6 crore and 60 kg of ephedrine worth Rs 60 lakh were seized.

Methamphetamine and ephedrine are commonly known as party drugs. Investigations have revealed that Kisoor Hendrik Nandan (41), a Dutch national of Indian origin, set up the unit by three months ago.

Nandan is suspected to have links with an international drug cartel and had roped in six Iranians for manufacturing the drugs as few Indians have the expertise. One of the Iranians had earlier worked as a cook in Mumbai and roped in chemists from Tehran for the job.

Interrogations led the NCB to a flat in Swati Apartments, Oshiwara, where the Iranians used to stay. There, officials found another 13 kg of ephedrine worth Rs 6.5 lakh and one kg of amphetamine, priced at Rs 1 crore. Wanage said they had purchased large quantities of cold-and-cough tablets and nasal drops and extracted methamphetamine, ephedrine and amphetamine from them.

On the same day, the NCB also raided a unit in Hatkesh Udyog Nagar at Mira Road and recovered drugs worth more than Rs 11.75 crore. Jacob Madathi (58), the proprietor of the unit, and his Columbian associate, Luis Carlos (41), were arrested. Some of the contraband was found in Madathi’s house in Mira Road.

The NCB said the Mira Road unit had struck a deal with a drug cartel from Honduras to supply the party drug. The first sample was recently couriered to the central American nation.