Thiruvananthapuram: Excise officials seized 78.78 grams of synthetic drug MDMA worth about Rs 3 lakh from a tattoo studio located at Thampanoor here on Friday. Majeendran, owner of the studio and his accomplice Shaun Aji were arrested following the raid.
The accused had been using the tattoo studio 'Step Up' as a cover for their narcotics business and youngsters were falling into their trap, an Excise official said.
"Based on a tip-off, we conducted a raid and 78.78 grams of MDMA were seized from there. As per the information we received, they sourced the drugs from Bengaluru," he said. Detailing the modus operandi of the accused, the officer said they mainly targeted those coming to the studio to get tattoos done.
"It would usually take some time to complete the procedure. While customers wait for the tattoo to be completed, the accused would inform them about the drugs and thus lure them," he further said. While Majeendran hails from Rajaji Nagar here, Aji is a native of Peringamala. The accused allegedly ran a tattoo parlour somewhere else in the city till some time ago and later shifted to Thampanoor, the official added. Excise sources said they would strengthen their vigil against similar businesses in the wake of the drug seizure here.