Monday, October 21, 2019

From Tamil Nadu towns, drugs fly to US via Bengaluru airport

Chennai: The 1.37 lakh tablets of psychotropic substances meant to be smuggled to the US, which were seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Tuesday, had been sourced from various towns in Tamil Nadu, sources told TOI on Saturday. The tablets were to be smuggled abroad through the Bengaluru airport, sources said.
The tablets included Alprazolam, Diazepam, Hydrocodone, Nitrazepam, Phentermine, Zolpidem, and Oxycodone (all psychotropic substances) as well as dubious cocktails of tadalafil and sildenafil (Viagra and Cialis).
Export consignments to the US are sent from Chennai bcy road to Bengaluru airport and flown out from there. Customs officials at Chennai airport told TOI that there were no direct flights to the US and hence all major courier companies moved US-bound cargo to Bengaluru airport by road, where the customs formalities would be done.
From Chennai, the smugglers had booked the illegal freight through an international air courier service to be taken to the US via the Bengaluru airport. “DRI officials, however, made the seizure before the packages could be sent to Bengaluru,” sources said. In all likelihood, it would have been detected at the air courier service facility as they are equipped with scanners.
Sources said one of the consignments containing the contraband had been booked by a courier company from Trichy to Chennai, with the contents declared as ‘drumsticks’ (moringa).
21/10/19 Sidharth Prabhakar/Times of India
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