Rs 2cr worth ephedrine seized at Chennai airport

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Customs officials seized Rs 2 crore worth ephedrine, a controlled substance for import and export under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, from city-based Mohammad Ghayas, 28, who was bound to Kuala Lumpur on an Air Asia flight from Chennai on Monday.

A statement from the Office of the Commissioner of Customs said the passenger concealed 25 kg of the stimulant drug inside 52 packets of Hans Chhap Khaini, a tobacco product, and kept them inside his checked-in bagged to avoid detection.

A customs official said the passenger had checked in the baggage and moved on to the immigration section at the airport. “The Air India security staff while scanning the baggage called us after he got suspicious about something found in his baggage,” he added.

“On further verification, we found an aluminium foil cover containing white colour powder like substance kept inside the Hans Chhap Khaini packets. We immediately checked the contents and on finding it to be ephedrine, we detained the passenger,” the official said.

The official further noted that the passenger on questioning informed them that he was only a carrier and that someone outside the city airport had given the packets to him to be handed over to a
person in Kuala Lumpur for a monetary consideration.

“We have arrested the passenger and are in the process to net the brain behind the drug smuggling,” the customs official said, adding that the Air India security staff would be given a commendation for his work.

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