KOCHI: Claimed to be the biggest ever drug haul in the state, the enforcement and anti-narcotic special squad of the excise department on Saturday seized 5.2 kg of methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA) worth around `30 crore in the international market from Athani near Nedumbassery International Airport.
Palakkad natives Abdul Salam, 34, and Faizal, 35, were arrested while they were en route to hand over the drugs to a person who was waiting at the airport to board a flight to Kuwait.
The special squad arrested the duo after intercepting their car and seizing the drugs concealed in two trolley bags. The drugs had been wrapped using two layers of carbon paper in a bid to evade scanning. “The duo were working as couriers,” said joint excise commissioner P K Manoharan.
“A Keralite by the name of ‘Bhai’ was operating the drug network from Kuwait through WhatsApp and Facebook.
The duo are part of the network. They reached Kochi after collecting the drug from Palakkad railway station as per Bhai’s information. “Though we got information about the Kuwait person, the details will be revealed after collecting crucial evidence.”According to him, the special squad had been tracking the movement of the gang for the past three-four months.“Recently, the Kuwaiti police had arrested a person named Clement of Vypeen. We started tracking his friends and contacts. The information collected helped us to nab the duo,” said assistant excise inspector Sudeep Kumar N P.
The drugs were reportedly procured from Kabul in Afghanistan with the aim of distributing them to terrorist organisations after bringing them to Kuwait.“The duo were involved in more than 10 similar crimes. Moreover, Faizal has some Kuwait connection as he worked there for nearly 10 years.
“We are tracking all these aspects to nab the man behind the wall,” the officers said.
The excise department is also investigating whether the drug mafia are using the state market to sell the drugs.
“While 1 gram of MDMA costs `15,000 in India, it costs more than `30,000 in the international market.
“This is the reason why the mafia are trying to sell the drugs on the international market. But we are also tracking whether they have established a market in India,” the officers said.Meanwhile, the special squad led by CI Saji Lakshman got a ` 25,000 reward from the excise commissioner.