Bollywood Producer arrested in Mandrax seizure worth Rs. 3,000-crore

Mandrax is a banned psychotropic substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

In the country’s largest drug seizure by Indian agencies, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized 23.5 metric tonnes of Mandrax tablets from Udaipur, Rajasthan.

At a press conference, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairman Najib Shah said the seized tablets are estimated to be worth over Rs. 3,000 crore at the current international market prices.

It is expected to be the largest seizure of this drug worldwide. Mandrax, also known as Methaqualone, is a depressant and party drug. Mandrax is a banned psychotropic substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The drug is commonly known as Mandrax, M-Pills, buttons or smarties and is usually smoked mixed with cannabis. “The drug, a depressant, overdose of which can lead to coma and death, is used as a recreational drug in Africa and Asia,” he said.

According to the media reports, a team of Revenue Intelligence officers raided the premises of M/s Marudhar Drinks in Udaipur on October 28. The information came to DRI Mumbai and then it was traced to Udaipur and with active assistance from Border Security Force (BSF), the officials detected a hidden room full of cartons of Mandrax tablets. It is estimated that it contained about 2 crore tablets.

The agency estimates that the drugs were meant for foreign markets like Mozambique and South Africa, even though they were manufactured in Rajasthan.

Reportedly, the mastermind of the syndicate that manufactured acetic anhydride, a major ingredient of Mandrax, and imported or locally procured other raw materials, was arrested. Follow-up operations to nab others involved with the drug syndicate were on, Shah added.

“We have arrested the mastermind and efforts are underway to nab others involved with the drug syndicate,” he said. He also informed that Subhas Dudhani, who has produced Bollywood films, also had businesses and properties in Mumbai.
In recent past, the DRI has reportedly neutralised 10 other factories manufacturing synthetic drugs like Mephedrone, Ketamine, Alprazolam and Ephedrine, across several states.

It is to be noted that in the last five years, the DRI has seized more than 540kg of heroin and 7,400kg of ephedrine along with other substances, a statement from the CBEC said.