Potassium permanganate sample - CC via Wikimedia Commons/Benjah-bmm27
CAIRO - 26 May 2019: Police forces foiled an attempt to smuggle 800 kilograms of a chemical substance that is suspected to be potassium permanganate which can be used in manufacturing explosives, cocaine and methylcathinone.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Nuweiba Ports Police Administration figured out that two individuals residing in Damietta plan to smuggle foreign goods hidden within personal luggage coming from an Arab country. Those individuals are the driver and a worker of a truck. The customs declaration form bears the name of the worker.
A customs security committee was formed to inspect the cargo. The outcome was the confiscation of 16 sacks weighing 800 kilograms, and containing a substance that is suspected to be potassium permanganate. The substance can only be imported after the issuance of specific licenses. Once the substance was detected, the worker negated his knowledge of its presence in his cargo.
Potassium permanganate is composed of manganese oxide ore and potassium hydroxide. It was developed as a disinfectant in 1857, and has been used as a treatment for many skin conditions including fungal infections.
However, explosives can be made of potassium permanganate if combined with both Ethyl alcohol and concentrated Sulfuric Acid. The substance can also be used in the production of cocaine and methylcathinone as indicated by the third UN convention on narcotic drugs held in 1988.