It is believed by the investigators that the drug is used for skin bleaching through unethical medical practices in cosmetology clinics and beauty parlours in Bengaluru and other southern cities owing to the huge demand for fairer skin.
BENGALURU: Illegally imported skin whitening drugs have been detained by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Bengaluru helping the agency to reveal a huge racket involved in smuggling the cosmetology drugs in the state for use and distribution in all parts of the southern states, according to a recent media report.
TOI reports that DRI has apprehended skin-whitening powder worth over Rs 13.5 lakh that are illegally imported in the state. It is believed by the investigators that the drug is used for skin bleaching through unethical medical practices in cosmetology clinics and beauty parlours in Bengaluru and other southern cities owing to the huge demand for fairer skin.
Sources with DRI’s Bengaluru zonal unit believe the city has increasingly become the receiving and distribution point for skin whitening drugs shipped from Thailand and Malaysia due to rising demand for skin treatments.
An investigating officer told TOI, “In the second week of May, we received a tip-off that a large consignment of skin-whitening medicines was being dropped off at a house in Jaynagar.”
On May 8 investigating officers caught a man that has arrived at the location to receive 100 cartons that were sent from Bangkok to Bengaluru. The cartons were misleadingly declared as food supplements.
The officer added, “We caught the man and an inspection of the cartons revealed numerous bottles of Japan-made Tatio Active DX Powder. It was known that the powder was meant to be administered into the body through intravenous injections, popularly known as drip.”
Special food supplements are often not opened and inspected in India due to expiry deadlines for food items. Legal importing of the skin-whitening drug requires the approval of the drugs control department.
The investigators have held another man related to the incident. Both the suspects are from Bhatkal and had come to Bengaluru to pick up the consignment.
As per the news report, the suspects have also revealed that they had similarly imported over 1,000 such boxes of the medicine valued at more than Rs 1.35 crore on earlier occasions.
“We suspect more gangs could be involved in this illegal drug trade. They use Bengaluru as a receiving point and send the drugs to Chennai, Kochi, and Hyderabad. We suspect the drug is illegally given to clients through some clinics and beauty parlours,” another DRI official told TOI.