Customs seize 475 kg Ephedrine worth Rs 24 crore

 Customs sleuths of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) raided two venues and seized 475 kg Ephedrine (a controlled substance and a precursor in medical preparation) worth Rs 24 crore.

On specific inputs, Central Intelligence Unit, Special Intelligence and Investigation Branch of Customs, Air Cargo Complex, Bengaluru, intercepted an export cargo at the export shed of air cargo complex on Friday. They recovered a consignment comprising 81 bags declared to be ammonium chloride. The sleuths carefully examined and recovered two bags containing 50 kg of Ephedrine worth Rs 2.5 crore.

As a follow up action, sleuths searched the godown of the exporter at Kothnur and recovered 17 bags containing 425 kg Ephedrine worth Rs 21.50 crore in the international market.

There was a conspiracy to smuggle Ephedrine to Malaysia. The sleuths have launched a manhunt to nab those who attempted to smuggle the substance illegally.

“We suspect the involvement two people from Tamil Nadu. We are confident of nabbing them at the earliest,” said a senior officer.

The suspects wanted to smuggle the substance through a Malaysia-bound Sri Lankan flight. Hours before the flight’s departure, the sleuths received alerts about the possibility of some bags containing Ephedrine.

“Documents revealed that the bags were sent by Apex Impex, with its office on K Narayanapura Main Road. The bags were to be delivered at Sinaran Bumi Trading, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia,” the officer added.

The Customs officials are in touch with their Malaysian counterparts and have exchanged information. The Malaysian customs officials are conducting a separate investigation in their country.

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