Contraband shipped as ‘palm sugar’ recovered at airport

The Bangalore Customs has seized banned drugs Methaquilone in the Courier Section of the Air cargo on 18.4.2018. The value of the said seized drugs of total quantity 12.900 kg in international market is approximately Rs 6.45 Crores. DH Photo

Customs officials seized 12.9 kg of Methaqualone worth Rs 6.45 crore in the Courier Section of the Air Cargo at the Kempegowda International Airport on Wednesday.

Officials stated in a press release that the consignment was to be shipped to Kuala Lumpur by a Chennai-based exporter. The goods were declared ‘palm sugar’ for personal use, with a declared value of Rs 6,000.

In the release, officials stated that smugglers adopted a unique way of shipping the drugs, packing Methaqualone in plastic sachets bundled together with palm sugar. While assessing the packets, they found white crystalline powder concealed inside.

The exporter had booked the consignment on Fedex Courier in Chennai. The courier package was collected by M/s FedEx in Chennai to the Bangalore hub for shipment to Kuala Lumpur.

This is the second incident where drugs were passed off as a legitimate shipment. In the first week of January, an attempt was made to ship the drug Ketamine as Indian sweets.

Officials stated in the release that there are glaring similarities in the cases. On both occasions, the concealed drugs had come from exporters in Chennai who attempted to smuggle the consignment to Kuala Lumpur through the same courier company, FedEx. The CIU of Bengaluru Air Cargo is probing the case.

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