KOCHI: In one of the major ampoule drug hauls in the recent past, the enforcement and anti-narcotic special squad of the Excise Department has seized 503 ampoules and 140 nitrazepam tablets from Mattancherry.
The squad also arrested Gulab, 46, of Kattathara Veettil, Palluruthy, in connection with the incident. According to the officers, ampoules of buprenorphine were confiscated from the house of Gulab at Golden mukku, Thoppumpady, where he stays on rent.
The drugs were stored illegally in the house and were used to supply it to customers, including students. Following a tip-off, the accused had been under the surveillance of the sleuths for a while. “The accused used to inject the drugs to the customers. Buprenorphine is generally prescribed as a painkiller for cancer patients, but it is also classified as narcotic, and possession of more than 1 gm of the drug is a crime. The 503 ampoules contain 1,006 gm of buprenorphine,” said an officer.
The drug which is highly addictive is known by the brand name Temgesic. The officers came to know the accused also used to inject the drug to more than one person with the same syringe. It would cause the risk of spreading HIV, Hepatitis B and other infections, they added.
“The accused has confessed to have brought the drug from outside Kerala. He is also a drug addict and is involved in several ampoule drug smuggling cases,” said an officer. A detailed investigation is under way.
The officers also said the public can inform the Excise Department on issues of illegal sales of contraband and liquor via 9400069550, 9400069551, 0484 2397480.