Excise suspects drug to be smuggled in from Spain

The huge cache of drug in excess of 1 kg seized from an apartment at Thrikkakara in August was probably smuggled in from Spain, suspects Excise Crime Branch (ECB), which is probing the case.

Though not a usual destination thrown around in association with drug smuggling, the investigation team strongly suspects the contraband to have originated from Spain considering the infrastructure potential of the affluent European country for manufacturing drugs.

Though the investigation team was confident that the consignment was procured from Triplicane area in Chennai, for a long time, Excise sleuths could not confirm whether the drug was locally manufactured or imported. That now seems to have settled for the time being.

In between, the team had taken two of the 12 accused to places in Chennai and Puducherry where they had allegedly stayed to secure the drug.

“We also suspect that the order for the drug and the plan for its smuggling were made in Sri Lanka,” said ECB sources.

In another significant development, the drug, which was initially suspected to be MDMA, a premium variety, has turned out to be Methamphetamine, according to a chemical analysis report from the Regional Chemical Examiner’s Laboratory at Kakkanad. “Though low in grade compared to MDMA, Methamphetamine is also a narcotic drug, the possession of which attracts almost the same stringent penal measures,” said sources.

The ECB has so far arrested 12 persons in connection with the case. The custody of Susmitha Sujith, the 12th accused, was returned to the Principal Sessions Court, Ernakulam, on Thursday. She was arrested on September 30 for her alleged close links with the key accused in the case and for being part of the drug selling network.

The ECB claimed to have got possession of details of her financial transactions and bank accounts that pointed towards the alleged funding of the business.

The investigation team continues to examine the financial trail to piece together the possible involvement of more people beyond the arrested accused. The interrogation of more people with suspected links to the case will also continue.

Besides, efforts are on to track down people involved in the deal in Chennai, though following mobile phone data led the team to many unrelated people whose credentials were probably used for securing mobile connections illegally.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 6:25:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/excise-suspects-drug-to-be-smuggled-in-from-spain/article36879975.ece

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