Over Rs two crore worth of drugs destined for Oz recovered

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Chennai, Feb 5 (PTI): Over Rs two crore worth of drugs meant to be smuggled to Australia and hidden in a coconut scrapper was recovered here, the Customs said on Friday.

Based on intelligence, officers of the Chennai Air Cargo Customs intercepted an export consignment at the Air Cargo Export Shed and recovered 24.5 kg of pseudoephedrin, an official press release said.

The consignment was destined for Australia, it said.

Pseudoephedrine is a sought-after chemical precursor in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine, the release said.

As per the shipping bill items, the cargo was declared as kitchenware like coconut scrappers, electric rice cookers and non-stick pans that were packed in cartons and all of them were examined, the release said.

'On cutting open the carton containing the coconut scrapper, it was noticed that three small wooden boxes were ingeniously fitted into the frame of the scrapper. On opening the boxes, a polythene bag containing white powder was found concealed in it. The powder was examined and it was pseudoephedrine,' it said.

A total of 12 polythene bags containing 24.5 kg of pseudoephedrine valued at Rs 2.45 crore were recovered and seized under NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act, 1985.

The exporter, a 43-year-old man, has been arrested in connection with the incident. PTI COR SA SAT NVG NVG