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Country's biggest haul of pseudoephedrine drug in Greater Noida: NCB

PTI     May 11, 2019

(Eds: Adds version of house owner IPS officer) New Delhi/Noida, May 11 (PTI) The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Saturday claimed to have made the country's biggest seizure of over 1,800-kg pseudoephedrine from a house in Greater Noida and arrested three foreigners. The estimated value of the seized chemical, along with about 2 kg of party drug cocaine, is around Rs 25 crore, sources in the NCB said. The house belongs to an IPS officer, posted in Lucknow, who told PTI that he was "shocked and distressed" with the discovery and had rented out his place through a property dealer in Greater Noida. The NCB stumbled upon the record haul of the narcotics chemical and stimulant after the grilling of a South African woman who was arrested by them on May 9 from the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport for allegedly carrying 24.7 kg of pseudoephedrine. The woman was first intercepted by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). "Pseudoephedrine is a precursor used for the manufacture of Methamphetamine, a drug widely used in Europe and South East Asia," a senior NCB officer said. "This is the biggest ever seizure of pseudoephedrine in India kept outside factory premises. As per our records, this is the highest ever seizure by any agency," he said. Usually such large quantities are always found in factories and not in residential or commercial premises, he said. The woman's interrogation led the officers of the Delhi zonal unit of the NCB to a house in Greater Noida from where a total of 1,818 kg of pseudoephedrine and 1.9 kg of cocaine were seized on May 10, the officer said. Two Nigerians, a man and a woman, have been arrested from the house apart from the South African apprehended earlier, he said. The arrests were made under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.  The Noida police said the foreigners who were living in the house in Sector P4, under the jurisdiction of its Kasna police station, on rent did not have any verification of their identity done by the local police. "It's required for any foreigner to get their verification done by the LIU (Local Intelligence Unit). They did not get it done. A probe would be carried out to fix responsibility over this lapse and any other lapses," Gautam Buddh Nagar SSP Vaibhav Krishna told PTI. He said the NCB had carried out the action in Greater Noida independently and the local police was not involved. Meanwhile, Indian Police Service (IPS) officer DPN Pandey, the owner of the house, said he had bought the property for Rs 7.20 lakh in 2000 during a scheme for government officials. He said the house, with four to five rooms spread in an area of 30 sq metres, laid vacant for six-seven years before he thought of renting it out. "Yes, that is my house. We had rented it out through a property dealer. A rent agreement was also made with the tenants. But I had no idea what they were up to. I am shocked and distressed," Pandey, a Superintendent of Police in the Economic Offences Wing, told PTI over phone from Ballia, where he is on an official duty at the moment. "I have never been posted in western Uttar Pradesh and had bought the property considering I may live there after retirement," he said. Pandey said his tenants had started giving him troubles by delaying the rent for about an year now and not remitting electricity bills worth around Rs 2.73 lakh. "It was rented out at Rs 24,000 per month but they have not paid the rent for almost an year now. Electricity bills worth Rs 2.73 lakh are also pending and every time I asked them to pay it they would say they'll do it online but did not do it," the IPS officer said. "I had asked the property dealer to get them to vacate the house and even approached the local police circle officer (Greater Noida 1st) for this, but the tenants seemed reluctant," he said. Pandey said he would visit the house only once or twice a year. "I will file a police complaint against them for the misuse and pending house and electricity bills," he added. PTI NES/KIS SMN SNE SNE SNE


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