On Friday, the courier terminal at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru received packets of wedding invites, which later turned out to be more expensive than the wedding cards printed by the Ambani family for Isha Ambaniâ€™s wedding. The package seemed unusually heavy for a wedding card. On investigation, the authorities recovered 5 kg of the banned Ephedrine drug packed into these wedding cards.
The Rs 5 crore-worth drugs, which was packed into the fake wedding cards, was being sent to Australia, the officials said. This came after a similar Rs 5 crore-worth drugs were seized by customs officials from garment spools on Tuesday.
Customs officials at the #Bengaluru airport seize 5 kg of ephedrine, concealed in wedding invitations that were to be shipped to Australia. Imagine how innovative and alert the officials have to be to counter this menace. pic.twitter.com/GqqWwNDqWRâ€” Snehesh Alex Philip (@sneheshphilip) February 23, 2020
The Times of India quoted the Central Intelligence Unit of the Customs Department at the air cargo complex in the airport as saying that the garments and the fake wedding cards for a wedding in April this year arrived for export to Australia.
According to the officials, there were 43 such foldable cards that were made of cardboard material. The bottom layer of each layer had 80 polythene packets stored inside, which had the powdered substance inside.
After the suspicious substance was sent for testing, it was found it to be Ephedrine, which is a controlled substance (like ganja and heroin) under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
On further investigation, the sleuths also found that the wedding was fictitious and it was only a means to smuggle drugs.
The Hindu reported that another 5 kg of the same drug was discovered earlier last week and the wedding invitations were being sent by a Madurai-based exporter. Now the investigators think that the person is part of a larger international drug racket.
The report said the drug is used as a medicine to prevent low blood pressure during a spinal anesthesia. It is also illicitly used as an appetite suppressant. The drug is used for short-term relief for many respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and wheezing, and is a decongestant and bronchodilator.