MUMBAI: Sleuths of the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have busted a major international narcotics racket and seized 265 kg of banned drugs ketamine and methamphetamine worth Rs 37 crore from Raigad and Navi Mumbai, official sources said on Saturday.
Seven persons said to be working for an international drug syndicate based in East Asia, have been nabbed.
The seizures on Friday followed raids on a chemical factory and its warehouses in Rasayani and Taloja in Raigad from where 253 kg of ketamine was recovered. A haul of 12-kg methamphetamine was made from Navi Mumbai's Kopar Khairane, DRI sources said.
The seizures are the third such hauls in the past three months.
Commonly known as 'date rape drugs', the drugs are popular among rave party organisers in India and abroad.
DRI sources said the racket is being operated by an international drug syndicate based in Malaysia.
The syndicate allegedly floated several bogus companies with fictitious documents and hired warehouses in remote areas adjacent to Mumbai for stocking and later exporting the drugs to different destinations, sources said.
DRI sources said the seized ketamine was manufactured at a plant in Rasayani town and the final product was smuggled out for export by declaring it as the cargo of a 'laundry detergent power'.
Following a tip-off, the DRI sleuths swooped on multiple locations and detected the drug consignment packed in 4-kg packets wrapped in multi-layered plastic rolls inside 50-kg high-density polyethene bags.
The DRI is probing the smuggling links of the seven accused with the Malaysian drug mafia, said the officials.