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Revenue Intelligence seizes illicit drugs

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SEIZURE: The illicit drug ketamine seized by DRI at Chennai airport on Wednesday.
SEIZURE: The illicit drug ketamine seized by DRI at Chennai airport on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

Ketamine seizure recorded for the first time at Chennai airport

CHENNAI: Acting on specific intelligence, officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Chennai, on Wednesday intercepted an export consignment of illicit ketamine, a dissociative anaesthetic abused for hallucinogenic effects.

The export consignment was declared as stainless steel grinder and spare parts booked by a Chennai-based exporter for a consignee in Hong Kong.

This is the first time that a ketamine seizure is being recorded at Chennai airport. The interception opens up possibilities of a new route in the smuggling of `club drugs' like ketamine and narcotics, the DRI officials said.

Officers say the manner of concealment was also ingenious with polythene bags containing white ketamine powder tucked inside the cavity of grind-stones. Each of the 22 grind-stones contained a polythene packet with the white powder.

The concealment was made in such a way that even when the handles of the grindstone are removed, the packets are not immediately visible. Officials had to remove a plastered portion melded into the grindstones using tools to access the contraband. Grind-stones also made it difficult for the routine surveillance scan to detect the contraband. The 10.57 kg ketamine seizure is valued at around Rs. 4.2 lakh in India and Rs. 20 lakh in the international circuit.

Further investigations would be centred on the domestic sources of ketamine and the trail to Hong Kong, officials said.

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