By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Nov 22:
In a swift operation, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Mumbai seized a consignment of cocaine worth Rs 20 crore and arrested two foreign nationals at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Sunday.
Acting on a tip-off, the NCB team laid a trap at the airport and intercepted a South African woman, who had travelled to Mumbai from Adis Ababa (Ethiopia). During a search, the team recovered 2.8 kg of the contraband in eight packets of different sizes, which were concealed in cavities made in two pairs of shoes and two purses. The drug was valued at Rs 20 crore. The passenger Miranda S was taken into custody, the officials said on Monday.
On interrogation, Miranda S, revealed that she was to deliver the consignment to a person at a hotel in the Andheri in North West Mumbai. The NCB sleuths promptly reached the hotel and launched surveillance.
Soon, a Nigerian national arrived and waited in the area. Her movements seemed suspicious.
The woman, identified as H Musa, was intercepted by officials. She admitted that she was to receive the consignment for further distribution in Mumbai, the officials said.
The NCB team found corroborative evidence with incriminating data on the women that links them to an international drug trafficking syndicate. The contraband was sourced from South America, which is stated to be a hotbed for the illicit production of cocaine, the officials said.
The apprehended ladies are being interrogated to gather further details about the local and kingpins based in offshore countries. Further investigation is underway. The raid was conducted under guidance of NCB’s Mumbai Zonal Director Amit Ghawte.
The seizure of the consignment is considered as a notable achievement, since the local drug trafficking circuits are keen on supplying party drugs in the upcoming festive season in Mumbai, Goa and nearby areas, he officials said.