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Customs seize 15 kg of party drugs hidden in tea and salt packets

In yet another drug bust, the Mumbai Customs seized 15 kg of party drugs from two London-bound aircraft in the wee hours of Wednesday.

Methaqualone hidden inside tea and salt packets
With a pinch of salt: Officials found the Methaqualone hidden inside tea and salt packets. Representation pic

Acting on a tip-off, the Mumbai Customs officials under the guidance of Deputy Commissioner, Air Intelligence Unit, Sameer Wankhede raided an Air India and Qatar Airways flight heading to London at 3 am. According to officials, the cargo had cleared all formalities including cargo screening.

“From our reliable sources we were informed that a big order of Methaqualone (read box) had been placed from London,” said a top Customs official.

Officials told MiD DAY that before finding the drugs, they had to search through five tonnes of cargo. “Several tonnes of cargo are loaded on every flight. We had to search through five tonnes before we finally found the drugs neatly hidden in tea and salt packets,” added the official.

Authorities are now on the lookout for the person who booked the consignment. “We are trying to track the person who booked this consignment,” said a Customs official adding that the approximate value of the seized drugs was Rs 2 crore in the international market.

Airport Customs Commissioner P M Saleem said, “We have not arrested anyone yet but have received some initial leads in the case. A case has been booked under different provisions of the NDPS and a detailed investigation is in progress.”

What is Methaqualone?
Methaqualone is a sedative hypnotic drug that produces a state similar to alcohol intoxication. Some of the properties of this drug are those of Cocaine and this drug is often used during parties. It is also called Quaaludes. Quaaludes gained a lot of notoriety in the 1960-70s when rock stars started abusing them. They were also called disco biscuits.  

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