New Delhi: In one of the biggest drug hauls in Delhi and NCR, a secret drug manufacturing laboratory functional was busted by a team of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and contraband worth Rs 400 crore was seized.

According to officials, the NCB team has recovered around 1,800 kilograms of pseudoephedrine and two kilograms of cocaine. During the raid, three people were arrested and are yet to be identified.

NCB officials say that the raids were conducted in Noida and Greater Noida after receiving specific input from an informer.  Officials say that during the raids they found a chemical processing unit that was being used to process the ephedrine.

Ephedrine, the sale of which is banned in India, is popularly used overseas to treat asthma and bronchitis. While controlled dosage eases breathing, its abuse, commonly in the powder form, is known to cause euphoria, hallucinations, delusions, hypertension and nausea. It is synthesised to produce the popular narcotic Methamphetamine. While it's controlled manufacturing as a bulk drug for pharmaceutical use is legal in India, its retail sale as an OTC drug is, however, illegal.

The breakthrough in the case came after CISF deployed at the Delhi Airport on May 9 intercepted a South African national woman who was suspected to be carrying contraband. CISF roped in NCB to investigate the case.

The South African drug carrier was arrested, and a total of 24.7 kg of Pseudoephedrine was seized from her luggage. During her questioning, she revealed important information about her associate. 

With the help of electronic surveillance, the NCB team tracked the drug manufacturer’s house in Greater Noida which was raided, and contraband was recovered.

The entire house was full of banned drugs, and two Nigerian nations were held from there who are now being questioned.

NCB claims that this the biggest ever seizure of Pseudoephedrine/Ephedrine in India outside factory premises. Pseudoephedrine is a precursor used for the manufacture of Methamphetamine, a drug widely used in Europe and South East Asia. 

In the wake of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, raids and crackdowns are being conducted all across the country to nab drug peddlers. In a similar crackdown, the Election Commission seized drugs, illicit liquor, unaccounted cash from the national capital.