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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

2 arrested for trying to smuggle drug, tablets worth ₹15 crore out of Mumbai

DRI has seized 30kg of methaqualone that the duo was trying to smuggle to the US and had concealed in packets of biscuits and namkeen items.

mumbai Updated: Jun 29, 2018 14:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
The two parcels were intercepted on Wednesday.
The two parcels were intercepted on Wednesday.(Photo used for representational purpose)

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has arrested two people in connection with an international drug smuggling racket and seized 30 kilogram of synthetic drug methaqualone and other restricted tablets worth a combined Rs 15 crore. The two were to smuggle the drugs to USA and had concealed it in between packets of biscuits and namkeen food items, officials said.

What is methaqualone?
  • Methaqualone is an expensive drug. In 2016, when the Bengaluru police busted a racket dealing in methaqualone, they discovered that the recreational drug was being sold for a staggering Rs4,000 per gram in the local Indian market.
  • The drug reportedly takes half an hour to kick in and its effects can last up to eight hours.
  • Higher dosages of the drug could result in a coma, convulsion and even death in some cases.

The two had been arrested earlier by Mumbai Anti-Narcotics Cell and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the last two years under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act cases and were out on bail. The accused have been identified as Bhavesh Shah, a Goregaon resident and Sunil Dhutia, a Girgaum resident.

According to DRI, based on specific inputs two parcels were intercepted at the EICI (Express Industry Council of India) Courier Terminal, Mumbai on Wednesday, which led to the seizure of white crystalline powder, Methaqualone. One Om International Courier and Cargo services was shipping the parcel. Enquiry at the said company led DRI officials to an Andheri godown, where more Methaqualone and other drugs were seized. In total, DRI seized 30kg Methaqualone powder (worth nearly ₹12 crore at the rate of ₹4,000/kg in the Indian market), 1.18 lakh Sildenfil tablets, 75,000 other restricted tablets under NDPS Act and Customs Act.

DRI sources said Shah had admitted that he, through Dhutia’s courier company ,was sending Methaqualone to USA. He had been arrested in August 2016 by the NCB Ahmedabad with Diazepam and Alprazolam. He came out on bail in February 2017.

Dhutia, who owns the courier firm Om International Courier and Cargo services, had been arrested in February 2017 by Mumbai’s Anti-Narcotics Cell in which the ANC had seized nearly one kg Mephedrone from his car.

First Published: Jun 29, 2018 12:14 IST

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