Over one lakh bottles of cough syrups worth Rs 1.76 crore being illegally exported to Bangladesh have been seized by the DRI officials in two separate cases. With these two back to back seizures, the DRI has busted a major racket engaged in smuggling of cough syrups into north east India from Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Madhya Pradesh among others. Cough syrups are being brought into this region for illegal export to Bangladesh, where it sells like hot cakes, with the sole purpose of intoxication, an official release issued today said. It is also abused in the north eastern region. This is because these cough syrups contain Codeine Phosphate, which is a derivative of Opium. As such, the value of Cough Linctus containing codeine phosphate in the contraband market is almost three to four times the Maximum Retail Price (MRP). Acting on an intelligence developed by it, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) with the assistance of officers of Border Security Force, Tripura intercepted a Tata truck bearing registration number of Jammu and Kashmir at NH 44 near CRPF Jeolcherra camp on Thursday. 53,600 bottles of Phensedyl Cough Linctus containing codeine Phosphate, which were concealed under 90 bags of 'Atta' (Wheat Flour) were recovered from the truck. As the Phensedyl Cough Linctus bottles were being transported without any licit supporting documents, they were seized along with the wheat flour and carrier vehicle by the DRI. The total seizure value of the case is around Rs 81.33 lakh. Subsequently, as a part of the same operation launched by the DRI to combat this modus-operandi, DRI with the assistance of the officers of BSF yet again on Friday intercepted another truck bearing registration number of West Bengal at NH 44 i.
E. Silchar-Agartala road. 40,500 bottles of Phensedyl Cough Linctus and 22,400 bottles of ESKUF cough syrup containing Codeine Phosphate, which were concealed under 105 bags of potatoes were recovered from the truck. The consignment, worth Rs 94.35 lakh, was seized and the driver and co-driver were apprehended in this case. In total, 1,16,600 bottles of cough linctus containing codeine phosphate cumulatively valued at about Rs 1.76 crore have been seized in these two cases, the DRI release said. The traffickers of codeine containing cough syrup are an organised cartel and it is expected that these cases shall have a deterrent effect against the abuse and smuggling of codeine based cough syrup, it said.
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