From MDMA and coke to LSD, Kochi saw it all


The bygone year witnessed local and international peddlers bringing premium recreational drugs to the city

The city was on a high in the year gone by, literally.

The year witnessed premium recreational drugs like methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), cocaine, and LSD to ganja being brought to the city by local and international drug peddlers.

Cocaine seizure

The New Year dawned with news of seizure of 4.50 kg of cocaine worth ₹25 crore, the biggest ever in the State, from a Filipino woman, suspected to be a carrier of a Latin America-based international drug cartel, at the Cochin international airport by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

From Sao Paulo

It was the third such case involving an international carrier in quick succession, and in all three cases the drug originated from Sao Paulo in Brazil, convincing the enforcement authorities that cocaine cartels increasingly preferred tier-two cities like Kochi as the transit point owing to tight monitoring at metro airports.

Excise action

A month later, Excise sleuths seized 5.2 kg of MDMA worth around ₹30 crore from two youths.

The drug, bound for Kuwait, reportedly originated from Russia and reached the country via Afghanistan in what perhaps at that time was the first instance of attempted trafficking of a synthetic drug other than ephedrine to West Asia.

In May, an El Salvador national was held with 2 kg of cocaine in pure form, and it was believed to have been sourced from the cocaine production belt in South America.

Another 2.9 kg of cocaine were seized from a Venezuelan national who was also a carrier for an international drug cartel based out of Brazil in September.

Big deal

This was followed by the seizure of 30 kg of MDMA worth ₹200 crore from a courier parcel company.

The parcel, which originated from Chennai, was bound for Malaysia.

The year drew to an end with the seizure of 2 kg of methamphetamine, a stimulant party drug that also goes by the name ‘ice meth’, worth around ₹5 crore by the Kochi Shadow Police from a carrier working for a Chennai racket in December.

Low-quality ganja trafficked from the Andhra-Odisha Naxal corridor for being sold as the locally grown variant called Idukki Gold; mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms, containing psychedelic compounds; various hues of ampoules, and tablets also made their way into the city during 2018.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:50:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/from-mdma-and-coke-to-lsd-kochi-saw-it-all/article25876121.ece

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