BENGALURU: Customs officials on Friday seized 475kg of ephedrine — a controlled drug substance worth Rs 24 crore. The officials said, based on specific intelligence, the officers of the central intelligence unit, customs air cargo, intercepted an export cargo at the export shed of the air cargo complex. Out of the 81 bags that had been declared to be ammonium chloride, two bags contained 50kgs of ephedrine, said to be worth Rs 2.50 crore in the international market.
When the godown in Kothnur was searched in a follow-up action, officials detected 426 kg of ephedrine packed in 17 bags. The haul is said to be worth Rs 21.5 crore, said officials.
Ephedrine: A poor man’s cocaine
Ephedrine is considered to be the poor man’s cocaine. Compared to cocaine, Ephedrine costs lesser. It used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing due to bronchial asthma. Ephedrine is a decongestant and bronchodilator.
It works by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages and widening the lung’s aiirways, allowing to breathe more easily. Although prohibited, Ephedrine is often abused by sports players and weightlifters. College students and truck drivers are known to abuse it because of the drug’s performance enhancing effects. People who want to lose weight often use and abuse Ephedrine because of its association with weight loss.