Sulthan Bathery: Wayanad police arrested three persons and seized 492g of MDMA, a synthetic party drug, at Sulthan Bathery Tuesday night. The car in which they were transporting the drug has also been impounded.
"This is the biggest ever catch of the psychoactive drug in Wayanad district," said district police chief R Anand.
He identified the accused as Mithil Raj (28), a native of Koduvally; and Jasim Ali (26) and Mohammed Aftash (29) of Bathery.
Milthil Raj was arrested twice last year with small quantities of MDMA, he said. The other two accused are not booked in any cases yet. "But we have been monitoring the activities of all drug peddlers in the district," said Anand.
On Tuesday night, when the trio was returning from Bengaluru, via Gundlupete, they were stopped near Muthanga by a police team led by Sulthan Bathery station house officer - inspector Santhosh M A.
The police team had the tip-off but it took some time to find the packet tucked in a secret cavity behind the front speaker of the car.
The packet had 492g of MDMA crystals, known in the streets as molly. MDMA tablets are called ecstasy.
"According to our preliminary investigation, they paid around Rs 8 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for the contraband," said the district police chief. "Their potential customers are college students and youths in Pullpally and Sulthan Bathery," said the officer.
On March 13, Ijas T V (29) of Thiruvangoor in Kozhikode was arrested with 5g of MDMA crystals at Muthanga in the same police station limits. Police said he was peddling the drug there.
On March 20, Pulpally police arrested Suraj K S (19) and Mohammed Farooq (22) of Bathery with 500g of marijuana.
But molly is edging out marijuana on the streets because of its easy availability, lack of odour, and relatively cheaper rate, said police.
Marijuana has to travel from Andhra Pradesh, via Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to reach Kerala. MDMA, an artificial drug, is made in labs in Goa, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, said officers of Kerala police.
A dose of 120mg of MDMA is considered high; 150mg has killed many people.
"MDMA gives a lasting kick for six hours," Kasaragod DySP K Sudhakaran had told a reporter.
It increases the heart rate and blood pressure and helps boost energy and drop inhibitions and that can lead to violent and sex crimes, he said. But users can become addicts if used regularly for a week. Then it will trigger depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, sleep disorder, and loss of interest in sex, the officer said.
The MDMA that Mithil Raj, Jasim Ali, and Mohammed Aftash bought for Rs 8 lakh to Rs 10 lakh would be retailed for Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, depending on the quality of the crystals, said the Wayanad district police chief Anand. That is a 2x to 3x profit.He said the samples of the drugs seized from them would be sent to the Forensic Science Lab to test for quality.
Legally, 0.5g of psychotropic drugs such as MDMA (scientifically called 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), is considered a small quantity. So in the two cases registered last year, if Milthil Raj is convicted, he would get a rigorous imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to Rs 10,000 or both.
But anything above 10g of the psychotropic drug is considered commercial quantity, and if convicted, the trio would face rigorous imprisonment between 10 years to 20 years, and a fine of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, said Anand.