About 3.25 kg of Alprazolam, a pyschotropic drug and an anti-depressant, has been seized in Hyderabad from five people and Rs 12.75 lakh in cash recovered from them, the Narcotics Control Bureau said on Sunday. The NCB said that based on specific intelligence, a joint team of NCB Bengaluru Zonal Unit and Hyderabad Sub Zone intercepted two cars on Saturday near Ujjwala Grand on Medak Hyderabad Road, apprehended four people and recovered the drug from them.
The NCB said one of them, Sudhakar, was the supplier and manufacturer and another one, Naresh, the receiver. The four were questioned and it led to unearthing of a clandestine laboratory in Sudhakar's house at Balanagar residential area, where raw Alprazolam at various stages of manufacturing was found in lab apparatus like flask, reactor and drier. The drug and a large quantity of raw material was seized. The NCB also unearthed another clandestine lab in an adjoining flat.
The Bureau said the accused had purchased a new reactor and drier to expand their facility. It said the fifth member of the gang had obtained a licence for manufacturing genuine medical formulations in the name of a company, but misused the facility for clandestine manufacturing of alprazolam.
"This syndicate was operating for more than five years in manufacturing of Alprazolam. They used to manufacture alprazolam in batches of four to five kg and sell it to various groups in Hyderabad," the NCB said in its statement. Noting that illegal manufacturing and trafficking of Alprazolam in Telangana is a cause of concern for law enforcement agencies, the NCB said Alprazolam is a psychotropic substance belonging to the benzodiazepines class, which are anti-depressants.
"However, the same is largely trafficked illegally for recreational usage worldwide. In the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Alprazolam is widely used as a cutting agent for illicit toddy. Alprazolam laced toddy is very dangerous and it causes serious health complications, including death," it said.