Illegal factory making Ecstasy component
Mumbai: Officials from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) have busted a factory manufacturing a drug used for making narcotic substances like Ecstasy at Nashik, and has arrested three people. According to officials, this is the biggest bust of it's kind in South Asia.
Intelligence officers from the Maharashtra zone of NCB had received a tip off that a factory was illegally manufacturing ephedrine, which is a controlled drug in India and is used in many medicines. The factory, named Asahi Drugs & Intermediates, and located at Sinnar near Nashik, was raided on November 26. NCB officials were taken aback when they found that the accused had already manufactured 82.5 kg of the drug.
Yashodhan Wanage, zonal director, NCB, said, "Till date, no such lab or factory illegally manufacturing controlled drugs like ephedrine has been busted. This factory had all the required equipments and the accused had gathered all the chemicals needed for synthesising the drug."
He added that, "One of the accused, Ramesh Jain, is the mastermind, and was running the unit with the help of a Pune-based financer, Kiran Barvekar. The third accused, Kailash Yadav (name changed), is a chemist who provided the expertise."
Ephedrine is used in making methamphetamine and amphetamine-based drugs like Ecstacy, Ice, Meth, Glass and a few other party drugs. These drugs are also called synthetic drugs as they are made by synthesising chemicals in a laboratory.
Party drugs are in high demand across the globe, especially in countries like the United States, many countries in Europe, South America and Southeast Asia. Ephedrine is also used in medicines for cough and respiratory illnesses, sea sickness, nausea, and in drugs which speed up the metabolism. It is a stimulant and is used by body builders and athletes to boost performance.
Though illegal ephedrine-extracting labs have been busted in the past, they were not on this large a scale. The seized drug is worth in crores in the international market. According to NCB officials, the contraband was to be sent to Mexico.
Jain is a history-sheeter, who was convicted for illegally manufacturing Mandrax tablets in 2000. He appealed in the Bombay high court and was released on bail, after which he set up this factory with the help Barvekar and Yadav.
Divyesh Singh / DNA
Saturday, December 12, 2009 3:09 IST