Approximately 75 kg of the narcotic drug ephedrine hydrochloride, valued at Rs. 14 crore to 15 crore in the international market, has been seized by Tuticorin Custom House officials.

It was to be exported inside a consignment of maize, according to a statement here on Wednesday.

The officials examined the yellow maize weighing 20 tonnes packed in 50 kg bags, which was about to be shipped to Malaysia on November 30 and detected 15 polythene packets of white crystalline powder kept concealed in 15 maize bags out of 400. Each packet weighed 5 kg.

Tests carried out at the chemical lab of the Custom House, Tuticorin, confirmed that the substance was ephedrine hydrochloride or pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, a narcotic substance covered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Regulation of controlled substances) Order, 1993 read with the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

Further investigation is under way.

It was about to be exported inside a consignment of maize