Bengaluru

In Bengaluru, officials seize ephedrine worth ₹5-crore concealed in wedding invitations

A polythene pouch filled with ephedrine concealed in a wedding card.

A polythene pouch filled with ephedrine concealed in a wedding card.  

This is the second such drug bust this week

Customs Department officials at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) unearthed another drug smuggling racket on Friday and recovered over 5 kg of ephedrine, this time concealed in wedding invitations that were to be shipped to Australia. This comes just a few days after officials detected a 5 kg of the drug concealed in bobbins of embroidery lace. That consignment, too, was slated to be couriered to Australia.

Officials were on alert after the first bust. While inspecting the wedding invitations, they realised that the cards were heavier than usual. A preliminary scan revealed polythene packets hidden inside the cardboard layers of the packaging. Each bag was filled with a powdery substance.

Officials recovered 86 polythene pouches filled with ephedrine. A further verification found that the consignment has been booked by the same Madurai-based exporter who had sent the bobbins of lace. The total quantity of ephedrine seized on Friday is estimated to be ₹5 crore in the international market. The authorities are now on the lookout for the exporters whom they suspect are part of an international drug racket. “If you consider both hauls, then the value is estimated to be about ₹10 crore. We are also verifying with the courier agencies and the company that printed the wedding cards,” said a police officer.

Ephedrine is a primarily medication used to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anaesthesia but can be abused as a stimulant and an appetite suppressant. According to officials, it is a controlled substance covered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 10:34:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/customs-officials-seize-5-kg-of-ephedrine-concealed-in-wedding-invitations/article30892483.ece

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