Express press service
HYDERABAD: The two African nationals who were caught smuggling cocaine worth Rs 80 crore at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Sunday may be transporters working for a major drug ring there, DRI officials suspect. Initial inquiries revealed that the two passengers, including the Angolan woman, were visiting India for the first time.
Although the two passengers, an Angolan woman on a business visa and a Tanzanian national on a business visa, are suspected to be working for the same network, officials are checking the details and digging deep to unravel more facts about their networks and gangs.
Authorities also discovered that the tourist and business visas they held were simply to evade surveillance and that their main reason for traveling was drug trafficking.
It is also being researched whether they were to deliver the consignment to the consignees in Hyderabad for further distribution or to transport the consignments to other sources in central and northern cities of India. “It is too early to draw conclusions. The investigation continues to dig deep and it is only after a detailed analysis of the information gathered that we will be able to obtain clarifications,” the investigators said.
Meanwhile, several cases involving the seizure of cocaine concealed in the form of pills ingested by air passengers have been recorded by the DRI in the past four months, in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Tuticorin Port, Tamil Nadu. However, officials noted that this was not an alarming trend and attributed the seizures to increased air travel and international passenger movements and increased vigilance by law enforcement in the country.
DRI on Sunday seized 8 kg of cocaine worth Rs 80 crore and arrested two people. Each passenger carried 4 kg of cocaine in the form of a packet, concealing it in the double bottom of their wheeled suitcases. More than 350 kg of cocaine were seized across the country after January 2021.