Probe into drug racket’s Sri Lankan links

The gang used to travel to Chennai with Rottweiler and Doberman dogs to procure and smuggle MDMA. 

Published: 22nd September 2021 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2021 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

drugs, substance abuse

For representational purposes.

Express News Service

KOCHI: The Excise Crime Branch probing the seizure of more than 1.1kg of MDMA worth Rs 12 crore from an apartment in Vazhakkala here is probing Sri Lankan links of the arrested persons. The agency has also found that the gang used to pay around 10% in commission to its funders.

The excise and customs departments, in a joint operation, had busted a six-member gang including two women and seized the huge quantity of the party drug from a serviced apartment in Vazhakkala on August 19. A deer antler was also seized from the flat. The gang used to travel to Chennai with Rottweiler and Doberman dogs to procure and smuggle MDMA. 

According to sleuths, they have found a few Sri Lankan phone numbers and those of some others in Chennai who are associated with the gang on the mobile phones of the arrested persons.  “We have traced some of the persons who supplied MDMA in large quantities to the gang. Some of the phone calls from Sri Lanka were suspected to be made by Indians staying there. We suspect that the drug in large quantities was sourced from Sri Lanka. We are in touch with the police and other agencies in Tamil Nadu. We are hoping to get some results soon,” an official said. 

Already, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had registered a few cases in Kerala after Sri Lankan boats were intercepted with heroin sourced from Pakistan. However, excise officials ruled out any connection with the MDMA case and these. 

“As Tamil Nadu is very close to Sri Lanka, we suspect MDMA and other drugs are being smuggled from the neighbouring countries. We suspect that the MDMA seized in Kochi also arrived through the same channel,” the official said. Meanwhile, the Excise Crime Branch said though the market price of the seized MDMA is around Rs 12 crore, the gang is suspected to have procured it for just about Rs 2 crore. 

“The gang used to ask their funders to transfer money to the accounts of suppliers. As per the statements of the arrested, the funders charge 10% in commission for each transaction. We have identified a few funders of the gang who will be questioned in the coming days,” an excise sleuth said. 

Meanwhile, the investigation team on Monday arrested a 24-year-old native of Karaparambu near Kozhikode. The youth was an alleged funder of the gang. “The person named Deepesh was involved in transactions totalling Rs 32 lakh done at the instances of the gang on several occasions. Another funder hailing from Ernakulam was arrested last week. There are more funders who have to be arrested,” he said.


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