Tamil film producer ‘mastermind’ of ₹2,000 crore drug trafficking racket: NCB | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Tamil film producer ‘mastermind’ of 2,000 crore drug trafficking racket, says NCB

Feb 26, 2024 03:14 PM IST

The NCB said large quantities of pseudoephedrine concealed in desiccated coconut powder were being sent to Australia and New Zealand from India.

A joint team of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Delhi Police has busted an international drugs trafficking network with the arrest of three persons and seizure of a 50 kg narcotics-making chemical that was being sent to Australia and New Zealand by concealing it in mixed food powder and desiccated coconut. The NCB said the mastermind of the drug trafficking network has been identified as a Tamil film producer, who is currently at large.

The NCB, in a joint operation with the Special Cell of Delhi Police and Operations Branch, busted a drug trafficking network involved in precursor chemical trafficking and seized 50kg of pseudoephedrine. Three persons were arrested in this connection. (ANI)
The NCB, in a joint operation with the Special Cell of Delhi Police and Operations Branch, busted a drug trafficking network involved in precursor chemical trafficking and seized 50kg of pseudoephedrine. Three persons were arrested in this connection. (ANI)

In a statement, NCB deputy director general (DDG) Gyaneshwar Singh revealed that the three persons, who were arrested, informed the anti-narcotics agency that they had dispatched a total of 45 pseudoephedrine shipments over the past three years. These shipments amounted to approximately 3,500 kilograms of pseudoephedrine, with an estimated value exceeding 2,000 crore in the international market.

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Gyaneshwar Singh added that the NCB and Delhi Police teams dismantled the network based on information provided by Australian and New Zealand authorities approximately four months ago. They alerted about significant quantities of pseudoephedrine hidden within desiccated coconut powder being shipped from India to both counties. Additionally, Singh said the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provided supplementary intelligence pinpointing Delhi as the origin of these shipments.

“The mastermind of the nexus has been identified as a Tamil film producer, who is on the run. Efforts are being made to arrest him so that the source of pseudoephedrine can be ascertained,” Gyaneshwar Singh said.

How did NCB, Delhi Police bust drug trafficking network?

Officials of the NCB and special cell joined the dots and conducted raids on a godown located in Basai Darapur area of West Delhi on February 15 leading to the seizure of 50 kg of pseudoephedrine that was being concealed in a consignment of multi-grain food mix, and apprehension of three people hailing from Tamil Nadu, the DDG said.

"24-hour physical surveillance was mounted by the Delhi police special cell, which eventually led to their godown in Basai Darapur, West Delhi," a NCB spokesperson said.

"On February 15, when the operatives were trying to pack the pseudoephedrine in a cover consignment of multigrain food mix, the joint teams of the Delhi police special cell and NCB raided the compound, leading to the recovery of 50 kilograms of pseudoephedrine," the spokesperson said.

What is pseudoephedrine?

Pseudoephedrine is a precursor chemical and is used to make methamphetamine which is a prominent drug in demand worldwide and sells for about 1.5 crore per kg in Australia and New Zealand, the NCB said.

Pseudoephedrine is a highly addictive synthetic drug and even though it has some legal use, it is classified as a controlled substance in India, bringing strict regulation on its production, possession, trade, export and use.

Illegal possession and trade of pseudoephedrine is punishable up to 10 years of imprisonment under the NDPS Act.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

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