CHENNAI: Busting a drug-making factory on the city’s outskirts that was allegedly running behind the facade of a detergent company, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has seized narcotic drugs worth `71 crore and arrested 10 persons, including a Malaysian national.
The factory was functioning at Red Hills, incidentally the same region where the Income Tax department found several godowns stocking banned drugs like gutkha last July. The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption is already investigating if there was a nexus between police officers and the drug peddlers at Red Hills and surrounding areas.
“Search of the factory revealed that the gang was manufacturing detergent powder as a facade for illicit manufacture of drugs. In a secluded portion of the facility, the gang had installed elaborate apparatus to process and ‘cook’ methamphetamine under finely controlled conditions,” a statement from DRI on Saturday said.
While DRI officials refused to identify the name of the company and arrested individuals, as further investigations are on, it is learned that the factory was raided by officials on Thursday. The DRI’s statement said the raw material and manufactured drugs were stored in a godown in Chennai, before being distributed or exported. Its location was also not revealed by the agency.
The total seizure from the factory and godown was 11 kg of methamphetamine, 56 kg of pseudophedrine and 90 kg of heroin. The statement estimated the total worth of the seizure to be `71 crore.
DRI sources said that raids were carried out at the facility after receiving inputs that a huge quantity of methamphetamine was manufactured illegally at the facility, and some of the finished drugs as well as other input products would be hidden at a godown in Chennai.
Searches there resulted in seizure of methamphetamine and a large quantity of raw materials used in manufacture of drugs. Investigations revealed that raw materials were transported from the godown to Red Hills, and finished products were brought back to the godown before distribution or export.
Stimulant that is heavily used to make drugs
A strong central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, methamphetamine is mainly used as a recreational drug, with lesser usage as treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity. Along with dextro-methamphetamine, it is illicitly trafficked and sold to make drugs due to potential for recreational use.