Customs sleuths seize 7 kg of Amphetamine, a psychotropic substance

Customs officials at Madurai airport on Wednesday seized around seven kilograms of Amphetamine, a psychotropic substance, worth about Rs.3.5 crore, from a passenger bound to Malaysia through Colombo — the only international destination connected to the airport here.

The white crystalline substance was wrapped in carbon paper, in order to avoid detection by scanners, and concealed in a false bottom created in a trolley suitcase, and also hidden in small quantities inside nine ladies handbags kept in the suitcase.

Though the Customs officials refused to disclose the name of the passenger before a thorough investigation was done, police officials said he was identified as L.Rasuldeen (21) from Ilayankudi taluk in Sivaganga district and a first-time traveller from Madurai airport.

Addressing journalists, A.S.Meenalochani, Joint Commissioner of Customs (Airport), said this was the first time that her team had come across an attempt to smuggle psychotropic substance through Madurai airport, and it happened to be one of the biggest catches in the southern districts in recent times.

Asked if smugglers were trying to exploit Madurai airport since it was in nascent stages of development, she said her team had not left any stone unturned to make sure that nobody took advantage of the situation. “We are doubly alert, especially because it is a budding airport,” she said.

Stating that this operation was made successful following a precise tip-off, she urged the people to come forward and inform law enforcers if they had any information about smuggling activities. “The present catch is an example of the alertness of our officers. This would send the right signal to every one concerned,” she noted.

She also said exchanging gold for psychotropic substances was a widespread illegal international practice.

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