High demand for meth in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore leads to rise in pseudoephedrine supply in India

High demand for methamphetamine in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore has led to a rise in the supply of pseudoephedrine, which is used for the manufacture of meth, over the past few months. The NCB on Wednesday seized 10 casseroles with 2 kg of pseudoephedrine packed at the bottom at a unit in Andheri (east).

The parcel was booked in Nagpur on April 29 and destined for Toongabbie, a suburb of Sydney in Australia. It had been booked by a person from Nagpur, who was intercepted by an NCB team. The suspect will be questioned about the parcel’s recipient as well as who placed the order for it.

On May 1, the NCB had seized 25 kg of pseudoephedrine from Hyderabad that was meant to be delivered to Australia. In December, 24.5 kg pseudoephedrine meant for Australia was seized from Chennai. In October, the DRI had seized 13.2 kg pseudoephedrine that was bound for Australia from Bengaluru.

An NCB official said, “There have been several cases in the past few months where pseudoephedrine has been seized while en route to Australia. Apart from Australia, there has been high demand in New Zealand and Singapore, too,” the officer said.

The reason for the high demand in these countries has been the manifold rise in meth addiction, he added. “Since meth requires pseudoephedrine and there is not enough of it in these countries, they source it from other countries like India,” the official said. In India, there have been cases where pseudoephedrine has been manufactured illegally in factories located in remote places.

Meanwhile, the NCB arrested a 62-year-old man from Vasai railway station and seized 70 grams of heroin from him. Abdul Wahid, according to the NCB, has been involved in drug trafficking for the past few decades. “He arrived at Vasai station in a train from Uttar Pradesh. We are questioning him but so far, he has not been cooperative,” an official added.