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MDMA case: Excise zeroes in on lynchpins

Trio behind drug racket based in Chennai, reveals accused

The Excise Department probing the seizure of MDMA worth ₹200 crore from a courier firm in the city last year has landed three names considered to be the lynchpins behind the drug racket for which Ali aka Abdul Rahman, who was arrested in connection with the case last week, had purportedly operated.

After being at large for more than a year, the accused was arrested by emigration officials at Trichy earlier this month.

“The names of the persons he revealed are based in Chennai from where Ali operated. We have also managed to secure some vital information, which will be premature to share now. He had admitted to have moved drugs through Kochi once before the foiled attempt,” said a senior official associated with the probe. However, officials said the accused was not fully cooperating with the probe, and that plans were afoot to form an informal panel for a detailed interrogation before his custody period expires on Tuesday.

Though he mainly operated from Chennai, the Excise for the time being has no plans to take him there for evidence collection.

He was taken to three places in the city for evidence collection. Officials took him to the lodge where Ali and his accomplice had reportedly stayed, the parcel service firm through which the contraband was sent to Kochi from Chennai, and the air courier service from where it was eventually seized. The drug was found hidden under piles of sarees in eight cartons, which was an attempt to evade detection.

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