9.2 cr worth of ephedrine found in paraphernalia at Kia | News from Bengaluru

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BENGALURU: In what is being described as the largest drug seizure at Bengaluru Airport’s cargo department this year, customs officials uncovered a large shipment of stainless-steel paraphernalia bound for Melbourne, Australia, and more worth of ephedrine than 9.2 million rupees.
The custom-made double-bottomed utensils, labeled as kitchenware, which carry 46.8kg of the drug, are suspected to be the work of a Chennai-based drug thug.
Sources from the Customs Intelligence Unit at Kempegowda International Airport said the agency’s Special Intelligence and Investigation Branch had received a tip that large quantities of the contraband were being smuggled through the air cargo wing.
Then, on March 13, a customs team combed through the export shipments in the cargo area and found large stainless steel containers, including jugs, jars and kegs, to be shipped to Melbourne by a Chennai exporter.
“We scanned the paraphernalia and to our great surprise, nothing concrete could be found on the computer images. We then examined the items and found that some of the utensils had bottoms that were not aesthetically pleasing. We cut open one of the stainless steel drums and found it had a double bottom containing a packet of some white powder,” an investigating officer said.
The sniffer dogs then cut open all the paraphernalia and saw 52 drums with custom double bottoms, all of which contained what was later determined in a lab test to be high-quality ephedrine, a key stimulant in methamphetamine production.
Investigators found that unidentified people from Chennai had come to the cargo airport a few weeks ago to book the shipment. “Our team rushed to Chennai as we had specific information about a drug smuggling syndicate believed to be involved in drug smuggling. When the gangsters got wind of the investigation, they fled the city. But we have crucial evidence that will lead to them and we hope to catch them soon,” the official added.
Earlier seizures this year
On January 22 this year, sleuths at Airport Cargo seized a laptop sleeve containing Rs 5.3 crore worth of heroin imported from Dubai. On February 15, it seized a shipment of bed sheets from Belgium with Rs. 2.8 million worth of ecstasy pills stuck to them, and another of machine parts from Zambia containing heroin worth Rs. 7 million. In all three cases, the importers were caught.
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