Indore: Seizure of deadly chemical with potential to kill 50 lakh people leaves scientists baffled

Indore: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) with a team of scientists from Defence Research & Development Establishment seized 9kg of a deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl from an illegal laboratory in Indore, after a week-long operation. The deadly chemical is said to have enough potential to kill 40-50 lakh people!

DG DRI DP Dash was quoted by The Times of India as saying, “Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and even inhaling its particles can be fatal. This is the first significant seizure of Fentanyl by any law enforcement agency in India. It is a landmark and unique seizure as DRI has been able to thwart first attempts to manufacture this toxic drug in India”.

In order to confirm the authenticity of the Fentanyl, a team of experienced scientists who deal with protection against chemical and biological warfare, were called from the Research and Development Organisation.

The value of the narcotic which a 100 times stronger than morphine is Rs 110 crore, and according to sources, more than 20,000 people have died by overdose of Fentanyl in US in 2016.

According to a report in the Times of India, the laboratory was being run by a local businessman and a “US-hating” PhD “scholar chemist”. The man was arrested last week along with a Mexican national. Only 2mg of this deadly drug Fentanyl, which spreads quickly, is sufficient to kill a person, experts said.

This first-of-its-kind case in India has baffled scientists, as manufacturing the drug requires expertise which is available only to trained scientists. It is a controlled substance used with other medication for anesthesia and pain relief, said the report.