₹180 crore methamphetamine drug seized in Tamil Nadu, couple detained

Preliminary investigation revealed the man was carrying the contraband to be transported to Sri Lanka through the coastal route.


Published Mar 02, 2024 | 12:31 PMUpdatedMar 02, 2024 | 12:31 PM

Representational image. (iStock)

In a major haul, ₹180 crore worth of narcotic drug methamphetamine meant to be transported to Sri Lanka was recovered from a rail passenger in Madurai and a dump yard in Chennai by the sleuths of the DRI, who also detained the man and his wife in connection with the seizure.

A total of 36 kg of the drug was seized— from the rail passenger at the Madurai railway station, and another six kg from the Kodungaiyur dump yard in Chennai in a meticulously planned operation, the central agency said.

The value of the confiscated drugs was ₹180 crore and the couple was detained.

Methamphetamine, also known as “ice” or “crystal meth” is a highly addictive psychostimulant drug which exhibits powerful euphoric effects similar to those of cocaine, leading to life-threatening consequences, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence said in a release.

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The operation

Acting on a tip-off that a passenger of the Madurai-bound Pothigai Express Train from Chennai on Thursday, 29 February would be carrying narcotic substances, the DRI Chennai Zone officials laid a trap for him.

When the train arrived at its destination on the morning of Friday, 1 March, the team identified the “passenger” and intercepted him with the help of RPF officials.

A search of his baggage yielded 15 packets weighing 30 kg in total containing white coloured crystal substance, which on testing was found to be methamphetamine. The contraband was immediately seized.

Upon being interrogated, he disclosed that some more methamphetamine packets were kept at his home in Chennai, the release said.

“His home was searched in a swift move and it came to light that his wife threw away the narcotic packets in the dustbin and the garbage was already taken to the Kondungaiyur dumpyard,” the release stated.

A DRI team rushed to the dump yard and recovered three packets of methamphetamine weighing six kg.

Preliminary investigation revealed the man was carrying the contraband to be transported to Sri Lanka through the coastal route. He and his wife have been detained and further investigation was on.

This is the first major haul from Madurai coming close to the incident of the city police seizing over 800 grams of methamphetamine drugs from a house in KK Nagar last week.

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Opposition hits at the government

Reacting to the seizure, AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami said it was “very shocking and painful that the ruling DMK has turned Tamil Nadu into a state where all kinds of drugs like ganja, cocaine, heroin and now methamphetamine are easily available.”

Instead of containing the circulation of narcotic substances, which is pushing the future of Tamil Nadu into the grave, the DMK government encouraged drug lords and provided them access to the party, Palaniswami said in a post on the social media platform ‘X’.

He was apparently referring to a now-sacked DMK functionary alleged to have links with an international drug cartel busted recently.

The TN Leader of Opposition urged parents to safeguard their children from the evils of drugs.

BJP state chief K Annamalai too lashed out at the ruling dispensation and said Tamil Nadu has truly become the drug capital of India, and that Chief Minister “Thiru @mkstalin should hang his head in shame for transforming this state into a haven for drug traffickers.”

“International druglord & a DMK functionary Jaffar Sadiq is on the run; NCB is raiding DMK functionaries’ establishments, Rs 1,200 crore worth enoute to TN caught off the coast of Gujarat, and today 30 Kgs of methamphetamine was caught in transit in Madurai by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence,” he said in a post on ‘X’.

“While the widespread network of Jaffar Sadiq’s is being exposed, Thiru @mkstalin remains tight-lipped, leaving one to wonder if he would wake up & act or employ his cronies to divert people’s attention to insignificant issues,” Annamalai further said in the post.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)