Various MDMA tablets from lab bust
- INTELLIGENCE ALERT - VERY LARGE ECSTASY LABORATORY SEIZED IN JAKARTA The DEA Singapore Country Office and DEA Special Testing and Research Laboratory (Dulles, Virginia) recently assisted in the seizure of a very large MDMA/amphetamine operation in Tangerang, Jakarta, Indonesia. The laboratory was seized by the Indonesian National Police, and consisted of a chemical synthesis laboratory and a separate tabletting operation. The synthetic route to MDMA involved reductive amination of 3,4-methylenedioxyphenylacetone (MDP2P or PMK) with methylamine and sodium borohydride; the hydrochloride salt was produced by gassing an acetone solution of the free base with commercial hydrochloric acid gas. The amphetamine was synthesized via the Leuckart reduction route, and was crystallized as the sulfate salt. Small amounts of MDA were also produced by contamination of the amphetamine syntheses with MDP2P (and MDA was therefore identified in some of the resulting tablets). The production scale was 60 - 90 kilograms per batch, corresponding to 428,000 to 642,000 tablets per batch, based on a standard dosage unit of 140 milligrams of MDMA per tablet. Over 100 kilograms of MDMA hydrochloride (>90 percent purity), over 10 kilograms of amphetamine sulfate (>90 percent purity), over 100 kilograms of caffeine, and over 1.5 metric tons of MDP2P (determined to be of Chinese (PRC) manufacture) were seized at the site. Intelligence indicated that the laboratory had been in operation for approximately three years, and also that approximately 3.5 metric tons of MDP2P had already been processed prior to the laboratory's seizure. The concomitant seizure of the tabletting operation (and all its associated tablet dies) indicated that the operation was producing tablets with 23 different monograms. Source determination (toolmark) analysis indicated that fifteen of these monograms are connected through an unusual single scored tablet face (see Photo 1 and Table I), while the other eight were connected by an unscored tablet face (see Photo 2 and Table II). Most of the tablets contained a mixture of MDMA and caffeine; some also contained from trace to small amounts of amphetamine and MDA. Additional seizures submitted to the Special Testing and Research Laboratory's Source Determination Program indicated widespread distribution of these tablets in the United States, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), the People's Republic of China, and elsewhere.