Narcotics Control Bureau's 'biggest ever' LSD haul: 15,000 blots seized, 'dark net' ring busted

Jun 06, 2023 04:12 PM IST

Last month the NCB and Navy seized ₹25,000 crore worth of methamphetamine that was from Pakistan and routed via Iran.

The Narcotics Control Bureau has seized over 15,000 blots of LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide - a synthetic chemical-based hallucinogenic drug - and busted a pan-India trafficking network that used cryptocurrency and was run via the 'dark web'. Six people have been arrested in connection with this case.

LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide is a synthetic chemical based-drug and is categorised as a hallucinogen.
LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide is a synthetic chemical based-drug and is categorised as a hallucinogen.

NCB Deputy Director General Gyaneshwar Singh told reporters Tuesday afternoon this is the agency's 'largest ever' seizure of LSD 'blots' in a single op.

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"This network used the 'dark net' in their dealings. This network operated virtually and the payments were made via cryptocurrency and crypto wallets. The buyer and the seller did not have any physical contact," he explained.

READ | NCB recovers 15,000 LSD 'blots'. What is a 'LSD blot'?

The 'dark web' or 'dark net' refers to hidden corners of the internet used to sell illegal items, exchange banned content and engage in other criminal activities.

The drugs network busted by the NCB was spread across Poland, the Netherlands, the United States and various Indian states, including Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh.

Officials also recovered 2.5 kg of marijuana and currency worth 24.65 lakh.

What is the LSD 'blot'?

The 'blot' is half a stamp-sized piece of paper and is a method of carrying and consuming the drug that makes it difficult for authorities to track.

"… this is a revenue stamp. Half of this stamp is one 'blot' and each blot can be consumed by an individual, usually by swallowing it. The size of these 'blots' make it very difficult to hide and smuggle… you can keep it in between any piece of paper or document and parcel or courier it," Gyaneshwar Singh said.

Possession of 0.1 gram is the threshold for possession of commercial quantity of LSD and the recovered amount is over 2,500 times that, he added.

What was the previous record LSD haul?

The previous highest seizure of LSD (in a single op) was 5,000 blots by Karnataka Police in 2021 and by the NCB's Kolkata office the following year.

NCB's 25,000 core haul in May

The NCB's announcement today comes days after a joint operation with the Navy last month led to confiscation of drugs worth an eye watering 25,000 crore off the coast of Kerala.

The drug was methamphetamine and over 2,500 kg of the substance was found.

READ | 2,500kg drugs seized were packaged in Pakistan, says NCB

Officials told ANI the value of the haul was higher than normal because the drugs were of a higher grade; the seized drugs were found in one kg packets hidden across 134 sacks.

NCB Deputy Director General (Operations) Sanjay Kumar Singh told ANI the haul was the largest in money terms. He said the drugs were routed via Iran's Chabahar Port and the source was Pakistan.

One person - a Pakistani national identified as Zubair Derakshshandeh - was arrested. According to a report by ANI the accused provided a voluntary confession claiming he was working for a Pakistan-based trafficker who promised him a large monetary reward for moving the drugs.

Seizure in April also

In April too the anti-drugs agency made a massive seizure, busting a multi-drug cartel in Goa in an operation that lasted for more than two weeks, .

Three people, including two Russian nationals, were arrested in that case and, apart from drugs, foreign currencies and fake IDs were also seized.

Cash worth more than 6.4 lakh, in Indian and other currencies, were found.

With input from agencies

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