Chennai, Oct 13 : Officials of the Chennai Air Customs have busted a pseudoephedrine smuggling gang and arrested four persons, said the Commissioner of Customs at Chennai International Airport.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Rajan Chaudhary, Commissioner of Customs, said the officials intercepted a Australia bound courier parcel on the suspicion that it contained narcotic substances at the Air Courier Terminal. The parcel was declared to contain spices.
On examination, branded masala packets of 50 gm and 100 gm were found inside, among other grocery items.
On closer look, some chilli and sambar powder packets were found tampered with.
On opening the packet, a plastic pouch containing pseudoephedrine was found concealed inside.
A total of three kg of pseudoephedrine valued about Rs 30 lakh were recovered from 37 plastic pouches concealed inside the spice packets.
According to the Customs, the parcel was destined to Auburn, New South Wales, Australia. It was booked in the name of a person based in Theni in Tamil Nadu.
On searches and investigation, the Customs found that Sathik, 37, a resident of Chennai, had got the order of 3 kg pseudoephedrine powder from his buyer in Australia.
He purchased the powder from a Bengaluru based person and gave the same to his partner who is based in Thanjavur with instructions to conceal the same in spice powder packets and send them to Australian at the address given by him.
His partner in turn took help of one Khan, 30, of Chennai for concealing the powder in the spice powder packets.
One Antony, 41, of Pudukkottai came to Chennai and took the delivery of the parcel from Khan and booked the same to Australia through a Chennai based courier company in the name of his friend Selvam, a resident of Theni, by misusing his Aadhaar card.
All four involved in the smuggling racket have been arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.