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Ephedrine drug smuggling case: Vijayawada police get four-day custody of accused

On Wednesday, the Vijayawada city police filed a petition in the court seeking the custody of Venkateshan, hailing from Chennai, for further questioning.

Published: 15th May 2022 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2022 06:34 AM   |  A+A-

Drugs

Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The fourth additional chief metropolitan magistrate on Saturday sent Kuppuswamy Arunachalam Venkateshan, who was arrested in connection with smuggling the banned drug Ephedrine in a parcel to Australia through a Vijayawada-based courier service, to police custody for four days. 

On Wednesday, the Vijayawada city police filed a petition in the court seeking the custody of Venkateshan, hailing from Chennai, for further questioning. The police informed the court that he is crucial in tracing the other two involved in the crime and the kingpin of the racket.

While hearing the petition on Friday, the magistrate sent the accused to police custody till Tuesday. On January 31, Venkateshan used a fake Aadhaar card of Kondaveeti Gopi Sai of Sattenapalli town in Andhra Pradesh for booking the parcel to Australia at DST International Couriers in Vijayawada.

However, the parcel was delivered to another person in Canada due to a wrong address slip pasted on the packet and it was returned to Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru on April 27. The airport customs officials found around 4.5 kgs of Ephedrine powder concealed in a stack of sarees and other readymade garments, and arrested the courier agent, Guttula Teja. 

According to highly-placed sources in the department, Venkateshan sent the Ephedrine drug parcel to one Raman Thangevi, a native of Chennai who is residing in Darlington (inner-city suburb of Sydney) of Australia following the orders of his boss, whose identity is yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, police are trying to arrest the two other accused who visited Vijayawada along with Venkateshan while booking the parcel. 

"Venkateshan has been working for a gang which is sending drugs like Ephedrine to other countries using fake identity cards to avoid being caught. The gang creates fake Aadhaar cards and passports and has nexus with customs and other officials in airports. They are also smuggling electronic items through airports, evading customs duty," said a senior official on condition of anonymity.

The officer expressed confidence that information from Venkateshan will lead to the arrest of the other two and the entire racket. "Along with other agencies, Vijayawada police are working on the case to bring the culprits to book. We are trying to identify the receiver in Australia," the officer added. 



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