The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), under the Ministry of Finance, has stated that it has unravelled two cases of cocaine smuggling at the Hyderabad International Airport in a late-night operation on May 1, 2022. The DRI added that it has seized 8 kg of cocaine worth Rs 80 crore.
Two air passengers - a male Tanzanian national, travelling from Cape Town to Hyderabad via Dubai on a business visa and a lady passenger from Angola who was travelling to Hyderabad via Dubai on a tourist visa - were apprehended by DRI on suspicion of them carrying narcotic substances on Sunday.
Four kilograms of cocaine was seized from each of the passengers who were carrying it in packets concealed in the false bottom of their trolley bags.
The ministry stated that instances of smuggling drugs through air travel have increased with easing restrictions on air travel and increased passenger traffic. "While Indian Customs have facilitated the clearances smoothly, the alert officers have busted the drug smuggling syndicates and nabbed carriers on multiple occasions across the country," it explained
"Ingenious ways of transporting the contraband have been noticed by way of laminating drugs finely into their baggage which are almost invisible to the naked eye or by concealment in shampoos and food items or at times the passenger becomes body carrier by ingesting drugs in laminated capsules," it added.
Multiple cases involving the seizure of cocaine concealed in the form of pills ingested by air passengers have been booked by the DRI in the last four months. In two such cases booked in Mumbai during March and April 2022, a total of 2.42 kg of cocaine was found concealed in pills ingested by two passengers.
Efforts of DRI have led to the seizure of over 350 kg of cocaine, estimated to be worth Rs. 3,500 crore in the illicit market, across the country since January, 2021. This includes a big haul of about 303 kg of Cocaine, seized from a containerised cargo at Tuticorin Port.
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