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Officials from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seized 231 kg of banned narcotic drug amphetamine worth Rs 45 crore from Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The bureau also arrested three people, including a research scientist and his wife.

The NCB first arrested research scientist Venkat Rama Rao and his accomplice Shankar Rao with 221 kg amphetamine from Miyapur area in Hyderabad on September 30. Venkat, who works with a chemical firm in Bengaluru, had gone to Hyderabad to collect the drug from Shankar.

Then, they arrested his wife from a rented apartment in Hebbagodi near Electronic City in Bengaluru and also seized 30 gm of amphetamine and Rs 1.23 crore in cash. Following the arrests, the NCB investigators retrieved another 10 kg of amphetamine from a manufacturing lab in Bollaram, Hyderabad, on October 1. The agency is keeping an eye on more members of this drug racket.

The total worth of the consignment is around Rs 45 crore, the NCB said.

"It seems they are part of a major racket that was invo­lved in the illegal storage and distribution of amphetamine, which is the base compound for making high-end hallucinogenic banned narco variants, including ecstasy and methamphetamine," an official told the Bangalore Mirror.

Venkat, who has been living with his wife in Bengaluru for two years, confessed that he works with a biotech company in KIADB industrial area in Electronic City. 

The firm has a unit in Bollaram -- the area from where Venkat and Shankar were arrested. According to the initial probe, the consignment was first brought to Bengaluru and then trafficked to Chennai.

"They were part of a gang that was illegally manufacturing amphetamine at a lab called Trident Lab near Miyapur. We have raided the premises and will be making more arrests in the coming days," sources told Bangalore Mirror.

The accused have been booked under provisions of the NDPS Act. According to the NCB, they were in contact with a few customers whose details would soon be known.

Amphetamine, a neural stimulant, is used as an aphrodisiac and a euphoria-inducing drug. It is also used as the base compound for making several psychotropic party drugs like ecstasy and meth crystals. It is used in minute quantity to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder. However, it is banned in India under the NDPS Act 1985.