In an all India operation, code named “Operation Vitamin”, the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) dismantled four illicit Ketamine or ‘date rape’ drug manufacturing facilities in Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It has seized 308 kgs of Ketamine along with 2000 kgs of raw material enough to manufacture another 250 kgs, a DRI official said, adding that the value of the seizure is around Rs 56 crore.
The DRI conducted the operation over three days across multiple states and covering 14 residential and industrial premises, the official said.
The seizure is being seen as a significant one given that all India seizure of Ketamine during the calendar year 2016 was 68.06 kgs only, the DRI said.
Officials said the pan-India network was being controlled by an international drug syndicate. Total 10 persons, including the main organisers and financiers of the manufacturing facilities, sellers and buyers in the supply chain have been apprehended/ arrested under the provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985, out of which three are foreign nationals, two from UK and one from Vietnam. “These persons were key members of an international syndicate which had close linkages in South-East Asia and Canada,” a senior DRI official said.
In addition to Ketamine, DRI teams also recovered small quantities of other drugs suspected to be cocaine and hashish during the raid.
Ketamine, also called ‘K’, ‘Special K’ or ‘Vitamin K’, is an anaesthetic commonly used in veterinary medicine. It is also used as a recreational drug in rave parties and is referred to as “date rape drug”.
The drug syndicate had a well-established chain of supply within India and abroad, which has been neutralised, the DRI said. The payments for the raw material and finished products were taking place through hawala channels, the official said, adding that the DRI is investigating roles of other entities and individuals connected with this syndicate.