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Smugglers using Mumbai as transit point for drugs

An international plot to smuggle amphetamine tablets with Mumbai as the conduit has come to light after agencies investigating the drug haul have unearthed chilling details.

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Based on the evidence — phone call details and text messages — recovered from the South African woman, who was caught with the contraband last week, agency officials have written to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to reach out to concerned countries to further authenticate their findings.

On August 24, South African national Herman Lucky was intercepted by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai airport customs.

Minutes after her interception when officials began recording her statement, she received an SMS on her phone.

It was sent by a Mozambique national asking her to keep mum, and not to worry as well, with an assurance that all legal aid will be take care off by him, stated officials.

“We have asked for the phone details of this woman, based on which we will be questioning the people who were in touch with her during her stay in the city. We have also written to the MEA along with important findings, to establish a contact with the concerned country for further investigations,” said a senior investigating official, on condition of anonymity.

Local hand?
Investigators are also trying to ascertain how such a huge consignment of amphetamine tablets reached the city? Who delivered it? And if any city bigwigs are involved in the racket? The above questions are rattling investigators who are putting their best efforts to nab the local link involved.

Sources revealed that the focus of the ongoing investigation is to establish the network that supplied the huge quantity (18 kg) of amphetamine tablets to the lady.

“Priority is to find out the local hand which supplied the banned item to this lady,” said a highly placed source, who is also part of the investigation.

Apart from Mumbai airport Customs, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Narcotics Control Bureau have also grilled the lady, sources revealed. Sources also revealed that based on the interrogation inputs received from Lucky, the agencies may raid other installations in other cities too.

Big catch
Herman Lucky (32), was intercepted by AIU officials when she was clearing the Customs screening to board an Ethiopian Airways flight ET 611 to Maputo, Mozambique. The banned substance was hidden in her clothes, inside her bag, and an Indonesian national, Michael Philip, had handed over the consignment of amphetamine tablets to her. Lucky revealed that she had come in contact with Philip through her friend Jonathan after arriving in the city last week. The person who had accompanied Lucky to the airport had managed to escape. 

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