ED to probe MDMA case; collects info from excise

The excise Crime Branch is also geared up to trace those who invested money to enable the gang to procure such a large quantity of MDMA from Chennai.

Published: 09th September 2021 06:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2021 06:45 AM   |  A+A-

drugs, substance abuse

For representational purposes.

Express News Service

KOCHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to conduct a preliminary probe into the money laundering aspect in the seizure of over 1,100 grams of MDMA — worth more athan Rs 12 crore — from a serviced apartment in Kochi. According to sources, ED suspects it is a case of money laundering as the money invested to procure a large quantity of MDMA has not been traced yet.

“Besides, ED has to probe a case registered under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act, as a designated offence. In this case, it is clear that a huge amount has been invested and the excise probe is yet to identify the source of the money. Other than those arrested, several unidentified persons have clearly invested money in the illegal business. ED is in regular touch with the excise Crime Branch. A case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act will be registered against the accused persons,” said a source.

The excise Crime Branch is also geared up to trace those who invested money to enable the gang to procure such a large quantity of MDMA from Chennai. The excise had questioned five persons from Kozhikode in that regard recently. “One of those questioned had withdrawn around `18 lakh days before MDMA was procured from Chennai. We are also questioning more persons suspected to have invested money in the illegal activity,” an excise officer said. 

Meanwhile, the forest department received permission from a Judicial First Class Magistrate court in Kakkanad on Wednesday to record the arrest of five persons accused in the case as a deer antler too was found in the gang’s possession.

“We will record their arrest on Friday. The custodial interrogation will reveal further details about the deer antler. Whether to arrest Tiruvalla native Thaiba will be decided based on the information received during the interrogation,” said an official.  As the current investigation officer with the forest department probing the antler case has been transferred, a new investigation officer will take charge on Thursday, the official added. In a joint operation, the excise and the customs had arrested Sreemon, Mohammad Favas and Shamna of Kozhikode, Aju alias Amal of Kasaragod, and Mohammad Afsal of Ernakulam on August 19 following a raid at a serviced apartment and seized over 1,100 grams of MDMA. 


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