Around 23.38 metric tonnes of the banned psychotropic substance Mandrax (Methaqualone Tablets) worth Rs 3,000 Crores have been seized near Udaipur in Rajasthan in one of the biggest seizures of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances.
Border Security FOrce officials at Udaipur aided officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the apex counter-smuggling agency of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in making the seizure.
Information was received that huge quantities of Mandrax Tablets have been concealed in a premises near Udaipur (Rajasthan) by one Mumbai-based mastermind. On October 28, a team of officers of DRI raided the premises of M/s Marudhar Drinks, Bhamasha Industial Area, Kaladwas, Udaipur.
During the search, DRI officers detected a hidden room filled with cartons of Methaqualone Tablets (Mandrax). The total number of tablets are estimated to be about 2 crore in numbers with a weight of about 23.38 metric tonnes (23,800 Kgs).
The international market value of seized tablets is estimated to be over Rs 3,000 Crores. This is one of the largest seizures of Methaqualone Tablets (Mandrax) not only in India but also in the world. The mastermind of the syndicate has been arrested by DRI and follow-up operation is underway to nab others involved with the drug syndicate.
The major raw material for Methaqualone Tablets (Mandrax), acetic anhydride, was manufactured by the syndicate at Shreenath Industries, Rajsamand. The other raw materials for Methaqualone, apart from Acetic Anhydride (manufactured at Shreenath Industries) are Anthranilic Acid (which was imported from Indonesia from Kandla Port by mis-declaring it as Mallic Anhydride), Ortho Toluidine, Phosporous Trichloride, Caustic Soda (procured locally).
Methaqualone is a depressant, overdose of which can lead to coma and death. It is used as a recreational drug in Africa and Asia. It is commonly known as Mandrax, M-pills, Buttons, or Smarties and is usually smoked mixed with cannabis and even swallowed.
Relentless efforts put in by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has resulted in neutralizing 10 other factories across several States in the recent past manufacturing various types of synthetic drugs like Mephedrone, Ketamine, Alprazolam and precursor chemical like Ephedrine.
In last five years, DRI has seized more than 540 Kgs of Heroin, and 7400 Kgs of ephedrine along with other Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances under NDPS Act, 1985. DRI has been in active liaison with international law enforcement agencies for combating the menace of drug abuse.