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Saree-clad women turn drug mules to fool Customs

The drug mafia and smugglers are always changing their modus operandi of transporting goods to hoodwink the authorities. And as part of this constant effort to ensure a safe passage for the drug consignment have moved on from using innocent-looking teenagers and old age people to women who dress in traditional sarees. 

On Monday night, the Mumbai airport Customs detained an Indian woman dressed in traditional Indian attire (saree) with five kilogram of drugs. The agency claims it’s a new modus operandi for the drug mafia.


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“With a prior intelligence information about the lady, we led a trap and arrested her with the five kilograms of Ketamine (banned drug) concealed in the false bottom of her bag. She was wearing a saree and normally we don’t stop women in such attire for drug related cases, but after the recovery of drugs and later her statement, we realised that it is the new modus operandi of the drug mafia,” said a Customs official citing anonymity.

In her statement, the woman who was arrested for possession of drugs told the investigators that a bag was handed over to her by her husband’s friend at the departure lounge of the airport. She also has admitted that the person also gave her 100 ringgits (Malaysian currency that equals Rs 1800) for delivering the package.

“If I would have known that it is a drug consignment, I would have never accepted it. He did not inform me about it,” the statement of 41-year-old Gopi Janki, who is a Kalyan resident, reads.

However, the customs officials believe that she was aware of the consignment and her three recent visits to the same destination is proof for that.

“We are sure she was aware of the consignment. We are investigating the matter and would question her again,” Customs officials told this newspaper. The Customs is likely to summon her husband who is currently in Chennai.

The woman was on her way to Kuala Lumpur by Malaysian airlines flight MH 195 on Monday night when a team headed by Deputy Commissioner of Customs Sameer Wankhede intercepted her. She is arrested under different provisions of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and is currently under the custody of Customs. 

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