In a major breakthrough the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) working with a team of scientists from Defence Research & Development Establishment busted an illegal laboratory in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The illegal laboratory in Indore was run by a local businessman with the help of another “US-hating” PhD degree holder “scholar chemist”, Mohammad Sadiq who were manufacturing a deadly synthetic opioid. The team of DRI and DRDE recovered 9 kilograms of the synthetic opioid, fentanyl, which could have easily killed four to five million people. This is the first instance of the deadly drug fentanyl being seized in India and is enough to raise security concerns in Delhi and adjoining areas. Fentanyl, is a synthetic opioid which can cause large scale casualties if used as a weapon in chemical warfare. The team has also arrested a Mexican national who is believed to have supplied the knowhow and the raw materials needed for beginning production of the highly toxic drug in India.
‘US-hating’ chemist held in India with 10Kg of Fentanyl Hydrochloride that could kill 5M people. Mohammad Sadiq’s name was concealed by all major newspapers except a local daily in Maharashtra. This is the same drug found with brother of Toronto terrorist. https://t.co/qERUhsSzn8
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) September 30, 2018
Talking about the seizure from Indore, DG, DRI D P Dash said, “Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and even inhaling its particles can be fatal. This is the first significant seizure of Fentanyl by any law enforcement agency in India. It is a landmark and unique seizure as DRI has been able to thwart first attempts to manufacture this toxic deadly drug in India.” The discovery of Fentanyl in India has baffled scientists and raised alarms for the security agencies because cooking the drug requires expertise which is available only to trained scientists and high-end research laboratories. Fentanyl is a controlled substance throughout the world and is used along with other medication for anesthesia and pain relief. The opioid is highly potent and it spreads very easily too, it can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled accidentally; a dose of just 2 milligrams is enough to kill a person.
The drug is so uncommon in India that a team from the DRDE which is a branch of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) comprising of experienced scientists dealing with protection against chemical and biological warfare were called to confirm the seizure of the drug. The drug is 100 times stronger than morphine and is usually sold in the United States on the streets after it is mixed with other drugs for pleasure. The drug is usually produced in China from where it is shipped off to Mexico and subsequently reaches to the cities of US by drug cartels operating between the two countries. The quantity of the drug seized in Indore is worth Rs 110 crore approximately in the international market. According to estimates by the US agencies more than 20,000 people have lost their lives to Fentanyl overdose in US alone in 2016 alone. The drug is sold in the US by names such as Apache, China Girl, China Town which explains its Chinese origins.
The Mexican cartels have tried shifting the production of Fentanyl to India after crackdowns on illegal laboratories have begun in China. The Indian authorities are now trying to track the route through which the raw products primarily 4ANPP have entered the illegal markets in India. The chemical earlier was used to be procured from China but now with the changed situations the authorities are trying to find out the new source for the raw material.