KOCHI: Prasanth Kumar, 36, one of the prime accused in smuggling Rs 200-crore worth synthetic drug MDMA (Methylene Dioxy Methamphetamine), which was seized by the Excise Department on September 28, was arrested at Chennai and brought to Kochi. The ultimate motive of the drug smuggler was to smuggle the drugs to Malaysia via Kerala.
Kumar, a native of Kannur, is presently residing in Chennai. On the basis of the information received by the Excise Department, the accused was caught with the joint efforts of the Narcotics Cell in Tamil Nadu. Kumar along with one Ali, who is also from Chennai, conducted the operations together. The lookout for Ali has been intensified, said the excise officials.The seized MDMA drugs were hidden among a bunch of sarees from the godown situated at Ravipuram in Kochi. The materials at the godown were brought through a parcel service from Chennai.
The motive of the accused was to transport the drug through ‘World Wide’ - an air cargo service to Malaysia. The information provided by the sources from the courier services made the Excise Department seize the drugs. “The courier charges and Malaysian address made them inform the department. They did not follow the criteria for the transportation of the materials via air cargo, which raised doubts among the courier personnel,” Excise Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh told reporters in Kochi.
The investigation regarding the smuggling of drugs and the involvement of people from Kochi are also progressing.
The prime accused has agreed that earlier the drugs seized in August under the investigation of Assistant Excise Commissioner T A Ashok were also bought to Kerala by him, he added. Pertaining to the incident of the seizure of MDMA drugs, with the joint effort of the Central Excise and Customs Department, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, State Special Branch, the State Excise Department could gather more information about Prasanth. Excise Interpol officer Sreerag and Preventive Officer Sathyanarayanan reached Chennai and caught the accused and brought him to Kochi.
The investigation officers who seized the MDMA drugs will be given D1 lakh reward, said Singh. Ernakulam Division Deputy Excise Commissioner A S Ranjith, Assistant Deputy Excise Commissioner T Ashok Kumar, Special Squad Excise Officer B Suresh, Excise Sub Inspector K Radhakrishnan, Civil Excise officers Ajith, Roby and Umar will be rewarded.