New Delhi: DRI officers have seized about 25 kg of stimulant drug Mephedrone worth about Rs 50 crore from two clandestine manufacturing labs in Hyderabad, the Finance Ministry said on Monday.
Acting on the basis of specific intelligence, DRI started an operation on December 21, 2022, and busted the two clandestine labs. Seven persons carrying out the manufacturing in these two locations were arrested and remanded to judicial custody.
"Officials of the DRI seized 24.885 kg of Mephedrone in finished form, valued at Rs 49.77 crore in the grey market, along with in-process materials, sale proceeds of Rs 18.90 lakh, key raw materials, machinery and vehicles used for trafficking," the ministry said.
The mastermind and main financer of this activity was nabbed at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, as he was attempting to flee to Nepal with a cash of Rs 60 lakh, the Ministry added.
The ministry said that some of the arrested persons are also accused in a 2016 DRI case for the clandestine manufacture of 236 kg Ephedrine at Indore; a July 2022 DRI case for the clandestine manufacture of 667 kg mephedrone at Yamuna Nagar; a case of escape from prison at Indore; a murder case in Hyderabad; and robberies in Vadodara.
"Neutralising of the clandestine labs and apprehending of the entire drug syndicate has dealt a blow to their plans for committing nefarious activities in the wake of the new year and thereafter," the Ministry said.
This is the second such factory bust carried out by DRI in the current financial year, following a similar case at Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, in July-August 2022.
Between April-November, 2022, officers of DRI seized about 990 kg of heroin, 88 kg of cocaine, 10,000 methamphetamine tablets, 2,400 litres of phensedyl cough syrup and various other harmful NDPS substances.
Addressing the DRI officers earlier this month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had asked enforcement agencies to go after 'big fish' and nab global mafia who control the operation of sending 'mountains' of illegal drugs into the country.
The minister also suggested that DRI officers build greater access to international cooperation, and greater global coordination for sharing of intelligence to reach the main perpetrators of the crime.
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