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Punjab Police recover Rs.600 crore-worth drugs
Friday November 15, 2013 9:59 PM, IANS

The Punjab Police Friday claimed to have recovered precursor chemicals worth Rs.600 crore in the international market following raids on a pharmaceutical unit in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh's Baddi industrial area.

Precursor chemicals are compounds that are required in the synthetic or extraction processes of drug production, and become incorporated into the drug molecule. They are, however, not used in the production of cocaine or heroin.

Patiala district police chief H.S. Mann said police teams recovered over 600 kg of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and other precursor chemicals from the unit of MBP Pharmaceuticals Ltd in Baddi, 45 km from Chandigarh.

Mann said the raids on the units were made following disclosures made by international wrestler-turned-police officer-turned drugs kingpin Jagdish Bhola, arrested by the Punjab Police Monday along with four accomplices, and his associate, Jagjit Sngh Chahal. MBP Pharmaceuticals is owned by Chahal.

"The raids led to the recovery of over 600 kg of precursor chemicals, estimated to be valued at Rs.600 crore in the international market," Mann said.

He said health department officials were checking how the precursor chemicals meant for the medicine sector were being used to manufacture synthetic drugs.

The Punjab Police had in March this year busted an international gang involved in manufacture and sale of synthetic drugs. The police recovered drugs worth Rs.700 crore at that time. When Bhola and four others were arrested Monday, the police recovered drugs worth Rs.18 crore from them.

"The estimated cost of precursor chemicals like ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and others is Rs.1 crore per kg, while the estimated international price of synthetic drugs like Ice (M-amphetamine) is Rs.5 crore per kg," Mann said.

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