KOCHI: The excise crime branch (CB)has received in custody five persons arrested in the MDMA seizure case for five days. The forest department too had filed a petition seeking permission to record their arrest after a deer antler was recovered from the possession of the gang at the apartment in Vazhakkala.
The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Kochi decided to consider the petition later. The accused persons — Sreemon, Mohammad Fabas and Shamna of Kozhikode, Aju alias Amal of Kasaragod, and Mohammad Afsal of Ernakulam — were produced before the court on Friday.
The court decided to allow the excise’s petition as a large quantity of MDMA was recovered from the accused persons, and ordered them to be produced after the custody period ends on August 31. The court also asked if the forest department’s petition has to be considered by another Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Kakkanad.
On August 19, in a joint operation of the customs and the excise, around 90 grams of MDMA was recovered from a serviced apartment where the accused persons were staying. Later, in a second search conducted at the same apartment, over one kilogram of MDMA was recovered. The total value of the seized drug comes to around Rs 13 crore. The gang had procured it from Chennai by travelling with women and dogs to prevent checking.
However, the excise probe turned controversial after it excluded two persons including a woman who too was staying with the persons arrested. Also, the excise did not report the seizure of deer antler from the possession of the accused.