Mamallapuram police from Tamil Nadu’s Chengalpattu district on Saturday seized 78-kilos of methamphetamine drug, valued over Rs 230 crore, drifting ashore in a drum. The mysterious consignment was spotted by fishermen from Kokilamedukuppam beach area in Mamallapuram on Friday evening and the police were immediately alerted.
According to preliminary investigations, it was found that the methamphetamine drug, in its crystal form, was packed in covers bearing the label of a Chinese tea brand and sealed inside the drum. A police officer from Mamallapuram station tells TNM that the case has been forwarded to the Narcotics Intelligence Bureau Crime Investigation Department (NIB-CID) for further investigation. “This is a high-value drug. One kilo can go upto Rs 3 crore,” he adds.
According to a report in The Hindu, the police suspect that this consignment could have been meant for smuggling to Sri Lanka and then to Malaysia.
Methamphetamine, also known as meth, blue, ice, and crystal, often used as a party and recreational drug. The drug affects the central nervous system and is considered a powerful stimulant even when taken in small doses. It, however, is illegal in India. As per India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, trafficking drugs of commercial quantity attracts imprisonment of up to 20 years and fine that could reach upto Rs 2 lakh while a repeated offence could attract a death penalty.
According to reports, during a two-day conference called 'Combating Drug Trafficking’ held earlier this year, India’s vulnerable geographical location, sandwiched between Golden Crescent and the Golden Triangle, to the trafficking of narcotics, was highlighted. The Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan) and the Golden Triangle (Thailand, Laos and Myanmar) are the two main opium producers of the world.
Just a few weeks ago, the police in Ramanathapuram district seized various narcotic drugs from smugglers who were using COVID-19 lockdown as a means to bypass police check posts. It was reported that the police seized 11.4 kilograms of drugs and 1.5 tonnes of red sanders that were being smuggled to Sri Lanka.