International drug trafficking syndicate busted in Delhi; Tamil film producer ‘mastermind’

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In a joint operation by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Delhi Police’s Special Cell, a major international drug trafficking syndicate was dismantled as the authorities seized 50 kg of Pseudoephedrine in Delhi, dealing a significant blow to the illicit drug trade. The NCB received crucial information from New Zealand customs and Australian police, leading to the discovery of large quantities of Pseudoephedrine concealed within shipments of desiccated coconut powder.

The joint task force, comprising members from the NCB and Delhi Police, conducted a meticulous four-month-long surveillance operation that culminated in a raid on a warehouse in Basai Darapur, West Delhi, on February 15. During the raid, three individuals from Tamil Nadu were arrested, and the illegal substance was recovered. The arrested individuals disclosed that the syndicate had dispatched approximately 45 consignments, totalling around 3,500 kilograms of Pseudoephedrine, valued at over ₹2,000 crore in the international market over the past three years.

The mastermind behind the operation, identified as a Tamil film producer, remains at large. Efforts are underway to apprehend him and dismantle the remaining network. The NCB is collaborating with authorities in New Zealand and Australia to investigate the broader international connections of the drug trafficking network.

Pseudoephedrine, a precursor chemical used to make methamphetamine, is highly sought after globally, fetching around ₹1.5 crore per kg in Australia and New Zealand. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) played a pivotal role in identifying Delhi as the source of these shipments. The successful operation highlights the grave threat posed by the illegal drug trade, emphasizing the need for coordinated efforts to combat such criminal networks.

The arrested individuals confessed to dispatching pseudoephedrine shipments for the past three years, prompting authorities to intensify their efforts to trace the entire supply chain. Pseudoephedrine, classified as a controlled substance in India, carries strict regulations on its production, possession, trade, export, and use. 

The illegal possession and trade of pseudoephedrine are punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment under the NDPS Act. The NCB and Delhi Police’s joint efforts demonstrate a commitment to curbing drug-related crimes and ensuring the safety and well-being of society.