Tamil Nadu

Two timber importers picked up in cocaine case

PFA photo of contraband seized by DRI at Tuticorin port (source: DRI), may be used with DRI story  

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have picked up two timber importers of Shencottai in Tenkasi district for interrogation in connection with the seizure of 303 kg of cocaine. The drug was found in a ship that ferried timber from Panama to the VOC Port at Thoothukudi.

When the ship berthed at the port on Tuesday, having passed through the Antwerp and Colombo ports, DRI officials checked eight containers based on a tip-off.

Since nine bags containing cocaine had been found amid logs in one of the containers, the officials seized the drug, worth ₹1,500 crore in the international market, and picked up the two importers who had ordered the logs.

The officials are not buying their claim that they had nothing to do with the drug, suspecting that the drug mafia operating from the South American nations could be part of this cartel. The DRI and the Narcotics Control Bureau suspect that the drug mafia is making repeated attempts to strengthen its base in Thoothukudi. When the Coast Guard intercepted a boat off Thoothukudi on November 25 last year, six Sri Lankan nationals were found in possession of heroin worth ₹600 crore, satellite phones and five guns. They were arrested.

The DRI said the nature of the confiscated substance would be known only after analysis, but it was believed to be cocaine.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 5:31:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/two-timber-importers-picked-up-in-cocaine-case/article34380052.ece

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