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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Ketamine raids in Goa part of nation-wide crackdown

The crime syndicate had links to several other countries

Story: The | Goan | 14th June 2018, 02:04 Hrs

HUGE HAUL
In all, about 308 kgs of Ketamine has been seized along with 2000 kgs of raw material enough to manufacture another 250 kgs
SIGNIFICANCE
OF SEIZURE

It can be gauged from the fact that all India seizure of Ketamine during the calendar year 2016 was 68.06 kgs only
GLOBAL ROOTS
* To international drug traffickers in countries like Sri Lanka, Mozambique, United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia, Nepal, Australia, Vietnam and Kenya
* Mostly, the drug was smuggled through courier/posts
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PANAJI: The raids on factory premises owned by a senior BJP member at Pissurlem by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence were part of a crackdown on nation-wide crime syndicate with links to several other countries.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in a statement on Wednesday said that “in all, about 308 kgs of Ketamine has been seized by DRI along with 2000 kgs of raw material enough to manufacture another 250 kgs.
“The significance of this seizure can be gauged from the fact that all India seizure of Ketamine during the calendar year 2016 was 68.06 kgs only,” the DRI said in the statement.
“DRI sleuths, in an all India operation, (codenamed “Operation Vitamin”), spanning more than 3 days, spread across multiple states and covering 14 residential and industrial premises, dismantled four illicit Ketamine manufacturing facilities/ illicit laboratories located in Goa, Vadodara & Raigad. This pan-India network was controlled by an international drug syndicate,” the DRI has said.
The DRI developed intelligence that certain international narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances trafficking and smuggling organized syndicates had set-up manufacturing facilities in India to manufacture, sell and illicitly export banned synthetic drugs, such as Ketamine.
This drug smuggling syndicate is believed to have supplied Ketamine to international drug traffickers in countries like Sri Lanka, Mozambique, United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia, Nepal, Australia, Vietnam and Kenya. Mostly, the drug was smuggled through courier/posts. This syndicate is suspected to have supplied large quantities of Ketamine to various international and domestic buyers.
In addition to Ketamine, DRI teams also recovered small quantities of other drugs suspected to be cocaine and hashish during the raid.
In DRI operation, total 10 persons, including the main organizers and financiers of the manufacturing facilities/ laboratories, sellers and buyers in the supply chain have been apprehended/ arrested under the provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985. Out of the arrested persons, three are foreign nationals, two from the UK and one from Vietnam. These persons were key members of an international syndicate which had close linkages in South-East Asia and Canada.
Ketamine (also called ‘K’, ‘Special K’ or ‘Vitamin K’) is a potent anaesthetic commonly used in veterinary medicine. However, this drug is extremely popular as a recreational drug in the rave parties due to the detached high it provides. Ketamine’s dissociative effects are so powerful that it is also referred to as a “date rape drug”. Mixing the drug with other depressants like alcohol and heroin intensifies the danger of respiratory depression, which can be deadly. According to WHO, among recreational users of Ketamine, there is growing evidence of symptoms of dependence, as well as adverse physical effects, particularly urinary and biliary tract problems, after prolonged use.
“The drug syndicate had a well-established chain of supply within India and abroad, which has been neutralized. The payments for the raw material and finished products were taking place through hawala channels. DRI is investigating roles of other entities and individuals connected with this syndicate,” the DRI statement reads.