Investigation into the seizure of 100 kg of chemical 1-Phenethyl-4-piperidone (NPP) in December last year has shown that a pharmaceutical firm in Gujarat, where it was purchased from, also exported 400 kg to Italy without a requisite certificate.
In July, the Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) had booked Deepak Natwarlal Mehta, director of Sam Fine O Chem in Rajkot, for allegedly committing violations under the NDPS Act.
According to police, Mehta had received a purchase order for 400 kg of NPP from Cambrex Pharma in Milan on July 17, 2018.
An FIR registered against him on July 11 stated that Mehta had dispatched the consignment to Italy on September 29, 2018. The chemical was named as a controlled substance after the central government included it under Schedule B of the NDPS Act in February 2018.
Any firms wishing to export NPP need a ‘J Certificate’ from the Central Bureau of Narcotics of the Ministry of Finance. The procedure involves furnishing full contact details of the importer, a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the destination country, details of the consignment, what purpose the substance will serve for the importer, and details of how and where the substance is manufactured or purchased from.
Officials from the ANC said it is yet to be ascertained where the NPP consignment was sent to from Italy. Mehta, the police said, had manufactured over 500 kg of NPP last year, of which he sold 100 kg to Mumbai resident Salim Dola after sending off the Italian consignment.
Dola and three other men were arrested on the WEH in Vile Parle (East) on December 26, 2018, while on their way to the airport to courier the NPP concealed as “organic Sacha Inchi powder” to a firm in Mexico.
Police investigations later showed that the Mexican firm is not involved in the pharmaceuticals sector.