Chennai

Large cache of drugs found drifting at sea in Kancheepuram district

Coastal Security Group officials inspecting the seized consignment.

Coastal Security Group officials inspecting the seized consignment.  

The Coastal Security Group of the Tamil Nadu police on Friday evening seized a huge consignment of methamphetamine drifting at sea in a drum along the shores near Mamallapuram in Kancheepuram district.

Acting on a tip-off from local fishermen that some suspicious boxes that looked like tea packets were found in a drum along the shoreline, a special team seized the consignment at Kokilamedukuppam. Preliminary investigation revealed that the drug was in crystal form of methamphetamine packed in small boxes that had the name of a tea brand.

“We seized 78 kg of the drug and sent samples to the forensic laboratory for analysis. Initial report suggests that it is a crystal form of methamphatamine used as party drugs or central nervous system stimulants in South-East Asian countries. We suspect that this consignment was meant for smuggling to Sri Lanka for further transshipment to Malaysia,” a senior officer told The Hindu.

With COVID-19 lockdown or travel restrictions across the country, the official said smuggling of contraband substances had come down drastically. With acute shortage of the availability of drugs, the international price of substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and others had multiplied. “The consignment seized on Friday is worth a few crore rupees. This case is being transferred to the Narcotics Intelligence Bureau CID for further investigation. Efforts are on to locate the suspects involved in the smuggling. Enquiries are being made with local fishermen if they came across any suspicious person or activity in the last few days. The substance seems to have been manufactured in a clandestine laboratory,” the senior investigator added.

Ramanathapuram seizure

Three weeks ago, the Ramanathapuram police seized a shipment of drugs procured from several States and moved close to the shoreline for smuggling to Sri Lanka by boat. The suspects used the COVID-19 pass to cross police barricades and reach a common point near Tiruvadanai in the district to deliver the sample contraband substances to an agent.

The seizures include various quantities of methamphetamine, opium paste, heroin, MDMA (Ecstasy), amphetamine and methaqualone, worth about ₹10 crore in the international market.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 8:35:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/large-cache-of-drugs-found-drifting-at-sea-in-kancheepuram-district/article31879760.ece

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