Nilgiris: The Gudalur police arrested four young Malappuram natives for smuggling 120 gms of MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), a banned narcotics substance, at the Kakkanalla check post at the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border near Gudalur on Thursday.
Those arrested were Muneer Kattilpuram, Basid Zaman, Siyad and Shahbaz. Police also seized the Ford Eco-Sports car used for smuggling.
According to police, the accused were returning from Bengaluru purchasing MDMA and had taken the deviation from Gundelpett in Karnataka through the Gudalur route as the vehicle check was intense in the Wayanad route where many were arrested with psychotropic substances in the last few days. The vehicle was waylaid by the police at the check post. "We had a feeling that two of them were narcotic addicts and a thorough check of the body was done on suspicion of recovering the hidden stuff under the inner-wear", said a police official. who preferred anonymity.
Among the accused, only Muneer Kattilpuram has a previous crime history and the other three youngsters were first-timers, picked up by Muneer as trainees in smuggling to have a firsthand feel of how things could be done safely on the ground, police added.
Produced at the Judicial Magistrate Court, Gudalur, the accused have been remanded to judicial custody. As the case is non-bailable and punishable by more than 10 years under the NDPS (Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act, the case would be handed over to the special NDPS court at Coimbatore, police said.
As per the NDPS Act MDMA seizure of 10 gms and above is considered commercial quantity smuggling which would fetch a punishment of 10 years to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine whereas for the quantity less than that ie above .5 gms to 10 gms, is called medium quantity smuggling of which punishment is up to 10 years imprisonment.