The party is over for Tamil Nadu's alleged 'godfather' of ketamine trafficking.
In a well-orchestrated cross-border, anti-drug smuggling operation, the authorities last week severed one of India's biggest ketamine pipelines which supplied the party drug to Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
This followed the Aug 5 arrest of a 33-year-old man, dubbed the Tamil Nadu kingpin of ketamine trafficking, and seizure of 1,100kg of ketamine worth a staggering RM85 million in the international market.
Initial investigations spearheaded by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) revealed the man had masterminded the ketamine pipeline from Mumbai to Chennai.
The drug, ferried by his underlings via lorries, were concealed in several transport warehouses before distribution to the three countries.
Among others, interrogators of the elite investigative agency hope to uncover the suspect's contacts in Malaysia where he is alleged to have drug trafficking links.
Chennai DRI additional director C. Rajan told Bernama on Wednesday that his department's investigators seized ketamine worth 500kg in the southern city, while his counterparts in Mumbai impounded another 600kg.
According to intelligence reports, the south-Indian drug syndicate deployed local and foreign 'drug mules' to smuggle out ketamine, largely to Malaysia and Indonesia, where there was huge demand for the 'party drug'.
"This is a major crackdown. A portion of the drugs belonging to the same gang would have gone to Malaysia, over a period of time.
"We have been after this syndicate for some time...the suspect is under remand in Chennai, following his arrest at the Chennai Domestic Terminal upon his arrival from Mumbai," said Rajan.
He said the suspect, a resident of M.R. Nagar in Chennai, was believed to have been actively involved in drug trafficking and smuggling, via various airports in the country.
Ketamine, a veterinary anesthetic drug, is easily available in India but any export requires government licence.
By P. Vijian
Aug 11 (Bernama)
NOTE: a quick search here reveals a lot of stories on Ketamine smuggling with a link back to the Tamil Nadu region:
India - Ketamine From Kerala To KL Seized
India - Ketamine powder seized from Ahmedabad airport, three held
India - Over 400 kgs of Ketamine seized, 3 arrested
India - Revenue sleuths bust narcotic racket in Kochi
India - ketamine bust's plus legal info.
India - Brain behind smuggling of 300 kg of ketamine still elusive
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