Chennai Air Cargo Customs officials confiscated drugs worth Rs.5.1 crore from a cargo bound for Qatar, Doha in UAE. The Customs had obtained intel regarding the smuggling of narcotics before the export consignment was successfully exposed.
According to the statements of the officials, the shipping papers contained details of 55 weighing scales distributed into 7 packages for export. However, the scales were found to be substantially heavy arising suspicion. So, each weighing machine was disassembled with screwdrivers and on doing so, it was discovered that each machine had metal boxes taped to the bottom of each scale, wrapped in plastic sheets, in the form of cakes.
The dark brown material procured from 44 of the boxes tested positive for Hashish that weighed nearly 44kg worth 4.4 crores of Indian currency. Besides this, Methamphetamine crystals amounting to 700 grams and worth Rs.70 lakhs was also seized from two boxes. The aggregate value was Rs.5.1 crore (6.99 lakh USD) as per reports.
In addition to this, 1620 grams of a rare drug, prescribed for patients with anxiety disorders or fibromyalgia called Pregabalin was also found and confiscated. While Pregabalin is not in the category of controlled drugs in India but it is so in many foreign nations.
On organizing a comprehensive search, an exporter was arrested on the account of smuggling along with a Custom house agent who was also alleged to be involved in this illegal drug trade.