The Gujarat High Court has rejected a petition moved by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) challenging a lower court’s order for retesting the sample of 432 kg Methylphenyl hydrochloride, a psychotropic substance, worth Rs 432 crore, seized by DRI in 2011. It was one of the biggest hauls of narcotics in the country, which were meant to be smuggled to the US and other European markets.
The DRI had approached the HC against the order of a special court hearing the case that ordered for a retesting of the contraband following a petition moved by Abhijit P Konduskar, one of the key accused. He has contended that the seized drugs don’t fall under narcotics and a sample should be sent to Central Forensic Laboratory, New Delhi which is run by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In 2011 following a tip off by DRI, Ahmedabad central excise officials raided a pharma company Kumud Drugs, in Sangli, Maharashtra. A record 432 kgs of the drug was found from the firm’s premises and was found to be illegal.
The DRI traced Konduskar’s alleged involvement after it busted a courier firm Anshanu Exports owned by Ahmedabad-based Sujal Patel.
DRI had seized six kg of Ketamine (a white coloured powder) and 37 kgs methamphetamine (off-white crystals) from Patel’s possession that had invoices of Sangli-based Kumud Drugs. This seizure led the DRI sleuths to Sangli from where 81 kgs of Ketamine was recovered.
During investigation, Konduskar was also found in possession of 431 kgs. of methylphenyl worth over Rs 432 crore in the illicit international market.
The DRI officials had sent the samples to Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar that confirmed the substance as methamphetamine hydrochloride. However, Konduskar moved an application to re-test the sample.