Busting a major drug syndicate, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has sealed a factory in Rajasthan where Ketamine, also known as the ‘date rape drug’, was being illegally prepared. In a coordinated operation on December 23, the agency raided the illegal factory set-up in the industrial area of Bhiwadi, Alwar, Rajasthan and arrested the owner, Vikas Kumar, from Palam in the national capital.
During the searches, DRI recovered 64.3 kg of Ketamine, around 12 kg of intermediary products and tonnes of raw material. Sources said the material was worth several crores in the international market. Ketamine typically sells for Rs 3-3.5 lakh per kg. “While the 65-odd kg of ready ketamine would alone be worth Rs 2 crore, the recovery of tonnes of raw material puts the scale of the illicit business at several crores,” said a DRI official.
The operation was launched based on information that some former drug peddlers had set up a factory to expand their “business”. The factory had been running for the past four months at least, said sources. Sources said the DRI team found an extensive set-up with centrifuge, dryers, distillers and scrubbers to manufacture the drug. Apart from the owner, four workers in the factory have also been arrested.
Ketamine is used in powdered or liquid form as an anaesthetic, usually on animals, but is misused by addicts and is also infamous as the ‘date rape drug’. It is classified as a psychotropic substance under the NDPS Act, 1985. A licence from FDA is required to manufacture the drug and import/export permit is required from the Central Bureau of Narcotics to trade in the drug.