Smuggling of drugs is an issue which not new to the country. There are areas which specially plagued by the problem of system abuse and smugglers take full advantage of the same. Time and again, humongous stocks of drugs are caught and something similar happened recently. No less than 30 kg of Methaqualone powder (concealed inside food item packaging), 1.18 lakh Sildenfil tablets and 75000 other restricted tablets were seized at Mumbai Airport, under Customs Act. An attempt was being made to export the said items to USA, through courier.
Methaqualone is a sedative, and its manufacture, possession and transportation is considered an offence under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Methaqualone powder is used to prepare mandrax, a recreational drug whose use is largely relegated to Africa, particularly South Africa. One of the primary effects of the drug is that it produces strong sedation. Higher dosages could result in a coma, convulsion and even death in some cases.
Another case related to the usage of the drug dates back to December, 2017, when a 19-year-old national-level table tennis player from Mizoram was caught at the international terminal of Mumbai airport with 3.9 kg methaqualone. The quantity was worth Rs 60 lakh. The accused, named Puia, was to take his flight when the white powder was found cleverly concealed under the bottom of his trolley bag.
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