DHELI. — India’s Customs and Central Excise officials on Wednesday thwarted a bid to smuggle 25 kgs of narcotic drug ‘ephedrine’ through the international airport here.
The officials took into custody a 32-year-old woman passenger, identified as Elder Rizive, a Zimbabwe national, who attempted to smuggle the contraband package on a Qatar-bound flight.
The woman was nabbed around 3.30 am by the Air Intelligence Unit, Air Customs, led by Assistant Commissioner Sanjay Bangartale. The controlled substance, in crystal form, was concealed in polythene pouches and kept in small wooden boxes. It is estimated to fetch over Rs 10 crore (US$166 000) in the international drug market.
Elder is learnt to have told the officials that it was her first attempt. She had arrived in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday on an Indigo flight from Delhi and checked in at a private lodging on Manjalikkulam road in the city. She said the package was handed over by a Nigerian national at the lodge.
According to her, the consignment was meant to reach Johannesburg and she was supposed to hand it over to another carrier who would meet her in Doha.
Elder had reached the country on a student visa for studies at the Delhi campus of a private university in March.
The officials suspect the smuggling move was conducted by an international racked based in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.
Officials of the regional unit of Narcotics Control Bureau assisted the Air Intelligence Unit officials to confirm the substance as ephedrine.
Elder’s arrest was recorded in the evening and officials said that she would be produced in court on Thursday. — New Indian Express
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