Bengaluru: Narcotics worth Rs 6 crore seized at KIA

Bengaluru: Customs officials have seized banned drugs methaqualone, weighing 12.9 kg and worth around Rs 6.45 crore, in the Courier Section of the Air Cargo at the Kempegowda International Airport on Wednesday.

According to the customs sleuths, the consignment was to be shipped to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by an exporter from Chennai. The goods were declared as 'palm sugar' for personal use, with a declared value of Rs 6,000.

Modus operandi
Methaqualone was packed in plastic packets, which were plotted inside the packets containing palm sugar. While carrying out assessment the Courier Section officials grew suspicious and the packets were marked for open examination. The packets had white crystalline powder concealed inside.

The smugglers were attempting to smuggle it through EICI Courier Terminal.

The consignment was booked by the exporter through Fedex Courier in Chennai. The package was collected by Fedex in Chennai to the Bengaluru hub for shipment to Kuala Lumpur.

The preliminary tests by central intelligence unit (CIU) of customs department confirmed that the white substance was methaqualone. The CIU is continuing its investigation.

Similar bid in Jan
This is the second drug recovery case this year. Earlier in the first week of January, an attempt was made to smuggle Ketamine, a narcotic, to Kuala Lumpur, by declaring them as ‘Indian sweets’.

In that case too, the exporter was from Chennai and the parcel was booked with Fedex, Chennai. The investigation in that case is currently underway.

“There are glaring similarities in the two cases, involving exporters from Chennai, attempting to smuggle banned drugs to Kuala Lumpur, and in both cases the courier company is Fedex,” the official said. 

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