Charges framed against 6 accused in biggest ever drug haul in Gujarat

A sessions court on Tuesday framed charges against six accused in one of the biggest cases of narcotics smuggling racket busted by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Ahmedabad, two years back.

The court framed charges against Sujal Patel, Babubhai Sharma alias Baka, Abhijeet P Konduskar, Kumud Drugs Pvt Ltd, Pramod Narhari Manjrekar and Kapil R Arora. They all have been booked under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The three other accused, including two foreign nationals Paul Charles Nally and Greig, and Alok K Srivastva are absconding.

DRI official had on December 3, 2011 seized a consignment of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride weighing more than 37 kg and 10 packets of Ketamine Hydrochloride weighing a little over 9 kg from Air Cargo Complex at Ahmedabad's international airport, believed to be worth Rs 500 crore in the international market. Methamphetamine Hydrochloride is commonly known as "Ice, Glass or Speed".

The consignments were being sent to United States and United Kingdom by Babubhai Sharma – an employee of Anshanu Exports, a courier company own by accused number one Sujal Patel. Two days later, DRI seized Alprazolam tablets worth Rs.7.72 lakh in the illicit international market.

The investigation led to the biggest seizure of banned drug in which Central Excise officials seized 432 kg Methamphetamine Hydrochloride from Sangli in Maharashtra from the factory of Kumud Drugs Pvt Ltd run by Konduskar. The consignment was worth Rs. 469 crore in the international market.

The DRI found out that Sujal Patel used his courier service to smuggle drug consignments concealed in food packages to UK and US. Investigation found out that he used to charge Rs.1 lakh for one kg of Methamphetamine and Rs.30,000 to Rs.40,000 for one kg of Alprazolam tablets.

Nally, a resident of London, and Srivastva, an Indian residing in London, allegedly worked together in the smuggling racket. Greg is also a resident of London who ran a courier firm Natbro, near Heathrow Airport.

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