Iraqi students' arrest hints at int'l drug racket

The arrest of two Iraqi students at the Kempegowda International Airport with medical drugs worth
Rs 2.17 crore on Saturday has rattled the officials of the Air Intelligence Unit and  Customs. They suspect the role of an organised syndicate involving pharma industry in smuggling medical drugs to war-torn Iraq.

The source of money for medical drugs worth more than Rs 2 crore needs to be investigated. Tracking the money trail is important as its a matter of serious concern,” said Harshavardhan Umre, Additional Commissioner, Customs, Bengaluru. It will also establish how the pharma outlets in the country sell prescription drugs without prescriptions.

A senior official said that the arrests will also raise several questions — are all foreign students pursuing medical course in India carriers of such drugs? The other question is what if these drugs are being used for some kind of a chemical warfare on foreign soil. “This is a sensitive matter with international ramifications,” another official said.

“We are preparing a report on the list of drugs found in the 11 bags that the two students were trying to smuggle, with its pharmacological classifications. Almost all the drugs seized are prescription drugs,”  added Umre.

He said that the statements of the two students will be shared with the Central agencies including Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing.

The two students — Mostafa Ismael Dawood (27) and Mohammed Razaq Mahdi (27) were apprehended at the Kempegowda International Airport on Saturday. The students together had 11 bags containing medical drugs worth Rs. 2.17 crore that were being  smuggled to Iraq, a Customs official said.
DH News Service

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