Brain behind smuggling of 300 kg of ketamine still elusive
CHENNAI: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) sleuths who seized 300 kg of ketamine from a transporter's godown in Maduravoyal on Thursday are still clueless about the identity of the person who booked the consignment from Mumbai.
The transporter, at whose godown the seizure worth Rs 30 crore in the international market was made, told officials he had no idea about the contents of the carton boxes he had tranported from Mumbai. He was, he added, only supposed to hand it over to the consignee, a Chennai-based pharmaceutical company.
Since the pharma firm has distanced itself from the responsibility and made it clear it had not placed any orders from Mumbai, DRI officials are now hunting for the person who used the name of the company to get the drug delivered here.
"We are yet to get a breakthrough. Efforts are on to trace the person who had booked this consignment. As of now we do not have any details," a senior DRI official said.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of several such consignments reaching Chennai earlier using the same modus operandi. "Mumbai has been the major source of ketamine for smugglers based in Chennai. For legal purchase and storage of the drug, one needs to have a licence issued by the drug controller. However, there is an illegal nexus between the manufacturer and the procurer, which helps both pick better price for the drug," the official added.
There are several agents, like the one who brought the drug to Chennai, who procure it in bulk and then retail it to the smaller agents for being smuggled out of the country.
The smuggling of ketamine has been on the rise in Tamil Nadu and the efforts of the agencies to get this regulated under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act have yielded no results so far.
"We have been writing to the authorities concerned for regulating the drug. However, no progress has been achieved yet. The ministries have to make a call on it now. Or the abuse of the drug will become rampant in the country soon," the official added.
TNN 7 November 2009, 04:16am IST