Gujarat Police has seized 1,364 kg of ephedrine, a raw material used to prepare party drug methamphetamine, from a factory in the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The international market value of the seized drug is Rs 270 crore.
In a joint operation, the city crime branch and state Anti-Terrorist Squad teams conducted a raid at Riya Industries on Vehlala-Zak road in Ahmedabad last night and seized 1,364 kg of ephedrine. The owner of the company, Narendra Kachha was arrested.
Police have also named the son of a former Congress MLA Bhavsinh Rathod, Kishorsinh as the kingpin of the drug racket. He is yet to be arrested.
"Kishorsinh Rathod and a Mumbai-based Jay Mukhi had procured this drug from Sholapur in Maharashtra from another person named Punit. They gave this drug to Kachha to convert it into crystal meth (methamphetamine), a party drug," Joint Commissioner of Police heading the crime branch, J K Bhatt said.
"Kachha, who has a B.SC degree, is associated with the pharmaceutical business for the last 20 years. Earlier, he used to work in different companies and has a wide experience on how to make the party drug from ephedrine," he added.
Ephedrine is a drug used to prevent low blood pressure and is also used for asthma, narcolepsy, and obesity. It is a Schedule A controlled substance and as per the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act section 9(1), its purchase, sale, possession, import, and export are banned without a license.
"Crystal meth (methamphetamine) is prepared from ephedrine which has a huge demand in India and abroad," Bhatt said.
"They had plans to export this party drug to European countries and also sell it in India," Bhatt explained.
Kishorsinh was earlier arrested for possession of fake currency and had been sentenced to five years of jail term, Bhatt said adding that his accomplice Jai had a narcotics case registered against him in Thane, Maharashtra. "We have formed teams to nab the accused," he said.
"This is the biggest seizure of drugs in Gujarat and among one of the biggest in the country also," he claimed.