Mumbai Nov 16 (UNI) The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has nabbed two persons, hailing from Chennai, with 10 kg of Ketamine Hydrochloride drug worth Rs one crore.
The seized Ketamine was meant for Taiwan. Ketamine is a popular drug, mostly used in rave parties.
The drug was seized last night from the Chennai-based people who had come all the way to Mumbai to send it to Taipei in Taiwan. The two worked for a mastermind, who is also based in Chennai.
According to highly placed sources at DRI, the consignment from Mumbai was concealed in two paintings, one of Mahabharata and other of Ganesha. The wooden framed paintings had cavities in them which were used to hide five kg of Ketamine in each of them. The two paintings were packed in different cartons.
The DRI detained Abdul Ansari and Shaikh Meeran while they were trying to courier the 'paintings' to Taiwan. They are being questioned.
The DRI are now in search of the mastermind- Ali Gani. The same modus operandi of hiding the drug in paintings was used in three other attempts.
This is the second failed attempt of the group in the last two days. Before this, the same group had allegedly sent 20 kg of Ketamine from Delhi to Taiwan via Singapore. However, the parcel was intercepted in Singapore yesterday and seized there. The DRI today got official confirmation about it from Singapore authorities. But the same group had successfully managed to send one more parcel from Mumbai on Sunday (November 11) to Taiwan. The DRI is verifying the volume of the Ketamine that was successfully smuggled.
DRI officials said that Ketamine falls under narcotic drugs category in Taiwan, China and European countries. In India, however, it does not fall under narcotic drugs. ''This is the reason why it is smuggled from here,'' the officer said. He said the value of per kg Katemine in international market is Rs 10 lakh. In India it is sold at much cheaper rate of Rs 35,000 per kg.
The biggest seizure of Ketamine from Mumbai was in October 2006 when 400 kg of the drug was seized. That consignment, meant for China, was seized in stages from Mumbai and neighbouring Bhiwandi.