International drug cartel busted, 8 foreigners, 1 Indian held

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

THANE - The Narcotics Control Bureau busted an international drug cartel and effected the biggest seizure of psychotropic substances worth over Rs.25 crore in Maharashtra, an official said here Wednesday.

“The NCB sleuths raided two factories in Thane district and one residential flat in Jogeshwari suburb of Mumbai over the past few days and nabbed six Iranians, a Dutch, a Colombian and an Indian,” NCB western region chief Yashodhan Wangne told reporters.

The arrested include Kisoor Hendrik Nandan, 41 (Dutch national), who owned all the premises where the drugs were being manufactured and facilitated the entire operation.

The Iranian nationals were identified as Masoud Naserziyary, 34, Hossein Safar Aghaei, 39, Amir Javad Ghavam Dehdashti, 24, Mohammadreza Mohsen Zorgari, 33, Seyed Sajjad Hosseini, 35 and Gulam Hussain Azad, 54.

Also nabbed are Lius Carlos, 41, of Colombia, and the sole Indian in the gang, Jacob Madathil, 58.

The accused were produced before a magistrate and remanded to police custody till Aug 27.

Acting on a tip-off, the NCB raided the two Thane factories - one in Asangaon, a small village in Shahpur sub-district and another in Hatkesh Udyog Nagar, Mira Road last week and recovered various quantities of the banned drugs.

In a connected operation, the NCB also raided a flat of Swathi Apartments in Jogeshwari suburb of north-west Mumbai and recovered more of the banned narcotic substances.

“The seized drugs include 60 kg of ephedrine, methamphetamine - 8.5 kgs in solid form and 10 litres in liquid form, 8 kg of amphetamine, pseudoephedrine - 173 kg in tablet form and 13 kg of powder, 60 kg of ephedrine powder mixed with PVC resin powder, 87,300 actifed tablets, large quantities of other chemicals and equipment,” the NCB said in a statement.

Other chemicals which were used in the manufacture of these illegal drugs have also been seized from the residential premises of the accused.

Wangne said the seized drugs are collectively valued at Rs.25.55 crore in the international illegal market for such psychotropic substances.

The two factories were used for extracting ephedrine/pseroephedrine from tablets for the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.

An associate of the sole Indian in the gang, the Colombian national, helped in sending the drugs out of the country and the Iranians worked as cooks-cum-chemists in preparing the drugs.

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