CHENNAI: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which had been working on specific intelligence inputs about large quantities of ketamine being transported by road from Mumbai to be smuggled out of Chennai airport, on Tuesday seized 600 kg of ketamine. This is the largest haul of ketamine by DRI, Chennai.
The ketamine was seized from several transport offices in Chennai and also from two tranporters in Mumbai. DRI has arrested the kingpin, S R Rajapandian, who in his confession statement has said that he along with partner had been smuggling ketamine through various airports in the country and that he did not possess any licence for procurement and transport of the drug.
Based on inputs, DRI officials on August 5 intercepted S R Rajapandian (33), a resident of MR Nagar, Kodungaiyur, when he arrived from Mumbai by IC 173. On examination of his luggage, police found nine lorry receipts of different transport companies booked on different dates. The consigner was Florence Impex, Bhiwandi and the consignees Sri Lakshmi Enterprises and Balaji Enterprises, Chennai. The receipts described the consignments as lactose, chemicals and hydrochloride medicines.
However, when DRI officials grilled Rajapandian, he admitted that the consignments were nothing but ketamine. He told the investigators that the drug was transported to Chennai from Mumbai by road and were then smuggled to countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.
DRI sleuths then raided Apollo Road Lines (Seven Wells), Sharma Transport (Sydenhams Road), Shree Ram Transport (Broadway), G Shantilal Transport (Broadway), National Travels and Carriers (EVR Road), VRL Logistics Limited (Moolakkadai) and VNMS Transports (Mufushkhan Garden Street). Out of the nine booked consignments, seven had already reached Chennai and two were waiting to be despatched from two transport company offices in Mumbai. The ketamine kept in the transport offices in Chennai were seized and the information was passed on to DRI Mumbai, which seized the remaining two consignments from Mumbai.
A total of 600 kg ketamine was seized, which is worth around Rs 60 crore in the international market.
TNN, Aug 11, 2010, 01.41am IST