Excise nabs intoxicated Meth smugglers after dramatic chase in Thrissur

Nithin Jacob, Vishnu K Das and Mohammed Shafi. Photos: Special arrangement

Thrissur: The enforcement team of the Excise Department arrested three men with 100 grams of Methamphetamine (Meth), a synthetic drug equivalent to methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), after hours of dramatic chase in the wee hours of Saturday.

The accused are Nithin Jacob, Vishnu K Das and Mohammed Shafi, all aged 26 and hailing from Vypeen in Ernakulam district. The Excise had tracked them down based on a tip-off received by Assistant Excise Commissioner T Anikumar.

According to the Excise, the accused smuggled the banned drug, which is also known as ice or crystal meth, from Bengaluru in a car.

“When we tried to stop them at the Kuthiran Tunnel area, they rammed into a department vehicle and drove away. We had been tracking their journey since February 6 when they went to the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border,” said an officer, who was part of the team that arrested the trio.

“They used basic mobile phones for communication. Though they travelled hundreds of kilometres, none of them carried currencies. They switched on their smartphones only for online transactions and switched it off once the payment was done.” The Excise believe the trio collected the drug from the Andhra-Odisha border. “100 grams of Methamphetamine is a huge quantity,” the officer said.

The Excise team had chased the trio from the Kuthiran Tunnel and intercepted their vehicle at the Pazhayannur Junction. According to an Excise source, the accused were high on drugs when taken into custody with the help of people of the locality.

“Both Jacob and Das have criminal backgrounds and were involved in a few cases registered in Ernakulam district.” The methamphetamine was hidden in a separate stereo system inside the dashboard, packed in a transparent zip-lock cover. The substance was crystal – the purest form which is priced at Rs 4,000 per gram. It is understood that the accused have been smuggling narcotic substances regularly. “The case could attract a life-term imprisonment,” the officer said.

Thrissur Excise special squad inspector N Sudarsanakumar, assistant excise inspector (grade) Sony K Devassy, inspector Mukesh and Madhusoodanan, civil excise officers VS Sureshkumar, Ratheesh and Afsal, and a party from Malappuram excise special squad led by inspector Muhammedali carried out the operation.

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