About 11.3 kg of ketamine, a veterinary medicine abused as recreational drug, was seized from a Malaysian national by officials of the Air Intelligence Unit of the Customs at Tiruchi Airport on Sunday.
The seized ketamine is valued at Rs.45.20 lakh in the international market and at Rs.4.52 lakh in domestic market.
Devalajar (sic) Devadanam, the 63-year-old Malaysian citizen, in whose baggage the contraband was found, was arrested by the officials.
Devadanam, who was to travel on the Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur from here on Sunday morning, was intercepted by the officials on suspicion after routine baggage screening. Examination of his bag revealed that he was carrying the ketamine in small packets, said D. Shivasankaran, Additional Commissioner of Customs, Tiruchi.
Devadanam had reportedly claimed that he had come to Tamil Nadu on pilgrimage a few days back. A person had approached him at the hotel in the city on Saturday asking him to take the contraband to Kuala Lumpur, promising him handsome payment on arrival there. He is reported to have maintained that he had no knowledge of the contents of the consignment.
Mr. Shivasankaran said ketamine was a popular party drug in many foreign countries. Given the increase in illicit export of the drug, ketamine has been included in the schedule of The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Devadanam has been booked under the provisions of the Act and remanded to judicial custody.