The Western Railway authorities have initiated an inquiry into allegations of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials that they were denied access to Mumbai-bound Rajdhani Express between Surat and Vadodara by the train superintendent to check passengers on board. The NCB officials were tracking a Nigerian national suspected of carrying cocaine. Denied permission to check the passenger, the NCB officials alerted their counterparts in Mumbai who finally arrested the Nigerian national and seized 1.3 kg cocaine, worth Rs 8 crore, from his possession.
According to the NCB, acting on a tip-off, its eight officials got on the train from Vadodara at around 3.20 am on Tuesday. They contacted the travel ticket examiner (TTE), seeking information on Nigerians travelling in the train.
The TTE took the NCB officials to on-duty train superintendent K D Shukla, who instead demanded tickets from them, the complaint stated. The NCB officials replied they could not buy tickets due to paucity of time and were ready to pay fine.
Sources said the NCB officials asked Shukla to allow a check on passengers and also showed him a written input from NCB zonal director Hariom Gandhi. However, the train superintendent did not grant permission on the ground any check would disturb the sleep of passengers.
Sources said that Shukla informed the Western Railway headquarters in Mumbai that eight “unauthorised” men were travelling in the train and they should be deboarded at the next railway station. Accordingly, at Surat station, RPF officials forced the NCB officials off the train.
Following this, the NCB team and Gandhi alerted their counterparts in Mumbai who arrested the Nigerian national, identified as Eneh Amboi Wilfried, from Borivali railway station. Gandhi shot off a letter against Shukla to Western Railway general manager Anil Gupta and divisional railway manager Mukul Jain. “We have got discretionary powers to access any vehicle or premises,” Gandhi told The Indian Express. When contacted, Gupta said, “Normally, we allow agencies to probe… We will call the train superintendent and get his statement recorded… we will take action accordingly.”