New Delhi: In the largest-ever drug seizure by Indian investigative agencies, the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) has seized 23.5 metric tonnes of Mandrax tablets from Rajasthan.

It is estimated to be largest seizure of this drug worldwide and its market value is pegged to be 3,000 crore. 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.

DRI, an arm of the central board of excise and customs (CBEC), has arrested Subhash Dudani, a Mumbai-based film producer and industrialist, who is the mastermind of the drug syndicate, said Najib Shah, chairman, CBEC, at a press conference.

The seizure was made on 28 October from an industrial area in Udaipur after the Mumbai arm of DRI received a tip-off. The agency estimates that the drugs were meant for foreign markets even though they were manufactured in Rajasthan.

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.

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