Doomsday drug with potential to kill 5 million people seized: DRI busts illegal lab at Indore
New Delhi, Sep 30: A chemical which is capable of killing at least 5 million people was being prepared at a lab, by a US hating PhD scholar. In a major operation the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence with the help of a team of scientists from the Defence Research and Development Establishment busted an illegal laboratory being run at Indore.
Following the raids, the sleuths recovered the deadly opioid, fentanyl that has the capability of killing over 5 million people.
The chemical has been seized for the first time in India and this has led to a major security concern as it can be used extensively in chemical warfare. The lab was being run by a local businessman and a PhD scholar chemist, known for his hatred towards the United States. A Mexican national too has been arrested in connection with the case.
Security officials have raised the threat level to high following this discovery. Currently the purpose behind manufacturing this substance is being probed into. This is a major operation and seizure by the DRI considering the agency was able to thwart the manufacture of this drug in India.
The agencies are also looking into the routes used to procure the precursor chemical 4ANPP, which is used to prepare Fentanyl. Cases in the past have shown that 4ANPP is smuggled in from China. Further investigations in that regard are underway.
What is Fentanyl:
Fentanyl (also spelled fentanil) is an opioid used as a pain medication and together with other medications for anesthesia. Fentanyl is also made illegally and used as a recreational drug, often mixed with heroin or cocaine. It has a rapid onset and effects generally last less than an hour or two.
Medically, fentanyl is used by injection, as a patch on the skin, as a nasal spray, or in the mouth.
This deadly drug has been tested as a chemical weapon for several decades. In 1997, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reported on a system for delivering less than lethal doses of Fentanyl.
They designed and tested guns loaded with small felt pads soaked with a Fentanyl based solution.
There have also been concerns raised by the Environmental Protection Agency about Fentanyl being used by terrorists. The use of this drug has also been reported by the Chinese, Russian and Israeli armies.