In a major haul, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) conducted raids at four different locations in Telangana including Medak and Nalgonda districts and seized Alprazolam, worth Rs 5 crore.
The drug was being manufactured illegally, and four persons were taken into custody in connection with the case, officials said.
According to a press note, more than 600 kgs of material was seized. This material was at different stages of manufacturing and processing the drug, and also included 18.55 kg of the finished product.
“Culprits were manufacturing the ingredients of alprazolam and sending it for processing to a shed in Narsapur of Medak district. The chemical named orthoxylene was stored at a guest house located at Isnapur near Patancheru. Another 197 Kg of intermediate material was recovered from the residence of one of a person involved in the said illegal activity,” the Deccan Chronicle quoted a source saying.
Alprazolam is a psychotropic substance and is notified under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, under which the accused were booked.
In Telangana, chemicals like diazepam and alprazolam are usually mixed in toddy (palm wine), to increase its intoxication level.
The issue had come to light in 2015, when Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar approved the new excise policy for the state, and took a decision to crack down on illicit and adulterated liquor.
As villagers were addicted to drinking toddy laced with chemicals for years, the state faced a massive problem, and hundreds lined up outside government hospitals.
The withdrawal symptoms of the two chemicals often result in patients losing their mind and in extreme cases, collapsing into a coma.