Customs officials at the Mumbai’s International airport seized six kilogram of cocaine from two foreign nationals on Wednesday morning. Investigating officials said that they could not rule out the possibility of the drug mafia considering the upcoming festive season where consumption is at an all time high.
The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Airport Customs headed by Deputy Commissioner Sameer Wankhede intercepted two women arriving in the city from Benin by Ethiopian Airlines, early Wednesday morning. Indonesian national Edyma Siregar and Ly Loegsle from Vietnam were stopped when they were trying to clear the green channel.
“The two were clearing the green channel, when they were searched. First, we asked to search Siregar’s bag and found nothing. However, on investigating again, we realised the bag had a false bottom and when we opened it, we found four kg of cocaine concealed. We also searched Loegsle’s bag and recovered two kg of cocaine hidden in the same manner,” said a Customs official. The value of the consignment in the international market is about Rs 6 crore.
On further investigations officials found that both foreign nationals were bound for Singapore but had opted for a one-day transit in the city. Investigators told MiD DAY that they were trying to ascertain if the contraband was meant to be delivered in the city or abroad. “Since they decided to stop over in Mumbai for an entire day, we cannot rule out if the drugs were meant for the city. With the festive season around the corner, demand for drugs is normally high and we are now trying to establish the destination of the consignment,” said an official.
Authorities revealed that during interrogations, the accused had said that they were carriers and did it for the handsome rewards they received. “During our interrogations, the Vietnamese said that she received around $2,000-3,000 (Rs 1.10-1.66 lakh) for each consignment barring other expenses,” an officer said,
P M Saleem, commissioner, Mumbai airport customs, said that the accused have been booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act along with Indian Customs Act and would be arrested later in the evening. “We have intercepted them with cocaine in large quantities. We are interrogating them and if required will arrest them. Both the concerned embassies are informed about the case. As the case is at a primary stage, I would not like to comment much,” he added.