10 tonnes of poppy seeds smuggled from Malaysia seized at V.O.C. port

September 24, 2022 09:28 pm | Updated 09:35 pm IST - THOOTHUKUDI

The bags of poppy seeds seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials at V.O.C. Port in Thoothukudi on Saturday.

The bags of poppy seeds seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials at V.O.C. Port in Thoothukudi on Saturday. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on Saturday seized about 10 tonnes of poppy seeds, which had reached V.O.C. Port here from Malaysia.

According to sources, based on specific intelligence, the DRI officials nabbed a few suspects, and based on their confession they checked a container carrying white cement. The officials found bags containing poppy seeds hidden between cement bags. Preliminary inquiries revealed that the poppy seeds were worth about ₹1.75 crore.

A senior official said they had questioned a shipping agent in Thoothukudi and the persons in an office in Madurai as the poppy seeds were about to be smuggled to a few destinations in south Tamil Nadu and other places by road.

A team of officials had been sent to Madurai for further investigation, he added.

Another official said 25-tonne poppy seeds, which had arrived from Afghanistan, were seized at the port in a similar fashion last year.

Though poppy seeds are not banned in India, there were a number of restrictions on handling them. An importer or a grower should obtain permission from the appropriate authorities concerned. The seeds, which were packed in waterproof sachets, would be used for extraction of toxic substances and as narcotics. Hence, poppy seeds would be seized if the importer had failed to obtain a licence from the Commissioner of Central Bureau of Narcotics, the official said.

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