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In biggest-ever drug haul in Chennai, contraband worth Rs 1.65 crore seized

In what Customs Officials are describing as the biggest-ever drug haul in the city, Chennai Air Customs has seized two foreign parcels that arrived from Belgium and Netherlands, which had large quantities of high-value drugs concealed in them. The two parcels that arrived at the Foreign Post office in the city contained a total of 5,210 ecstasy pills, 100 grams of MDMA crystals and 1 gram of Methaqualone, with their combined value estimated at Rs 1.65 crore.

The contraband was seized under the NDPS Act, 1985.

The first parcel which originated from Belgium contained leopard-skin fabric and other items. On unwrapping the fabric, nine black pouches were found inside. On being cut-open, the pouches had orange-colored Ecstasy (MDMA) pills with marking “Red Buli” and “Heineke”. Total 4,060 ecstasy pills valued at Rs 1.2 crore were recovered and seized under the NDPS Act, 1985. The parcel was addressed to a person in a village in Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu. Follow up searches at the location revealed that consignee address was fake.

The second parcel, which had arrived from the Netherlands contained an inflatable pool, snacks and gummy bear (candy) packets etc. On being opened and examined, the packets were found to contain skull-shaped ecstasy pills with marking “MYBRAND”. Further, two pouches containing MDMA crystals and Methaqualone powder were found concealed inside the inflatable pool. Total 1,150 ecstasy pills, 100 grams of MDMA crystals and 1 gram of Methaqualone powder valued at Rs 45 lakh were recovered and seized.

The parcel was addressed to a person in Andhra Pradesh. Follow-up searches at the recipient address revealed that the said accused had already been arrested by Chennai Air Customs in a previous drug smuggling case.

“This is the biggest drug haul we have had in the city and the parcels have come in from two different countries. Drugs from European countries are much preferred due to their high quality. However, this is the first time that we are seizing drugs that have arrived from Belgium. We have been alert all through the lockdown when liquor shops are closed and people are on the lookout for intoxicants.