Updated: December 14, 2021 8:42:40 pm
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Tuesday said it conducted eight operations and registered six cases across the city in the past two days in which narcotics from the city were sent to several countries hidden in various articles from stethoscope packets to cycling helmets.
In all these cases, the articles were to be couriered via air mail before the NCB seized it. The agency suspect the 10kg contraband comprising of amphetamine, opium and zolpidem tablets were in demand owing to New Year parties due in a few weeks.
NCB Mumbai Zonal Unit Director Sameer Wankhede said, “In a total of eight operations, we have registered six cases and apprehended one foreign national from Ivory Coast. He will be arrested as he is linked to a few of these cases.” He added that some of the courier companies involved in these cases are also under the NCB scanner.
The first operation was carried out in Andheri East from where NCB seized 490 grams of amphetamine that were concealed in stethoscope cases and meant for Australia. Wankhede said that Amphetamine is a ” rich man’s drug” which is in high demand in Australia.
In the second case, around 4 kgs of Opium was found hidden inside a microwave oven at Andheri. It was destined for Male in Maldives. In the third case, around 2.5 kgs – that is over 10000 tablets – of Zolpidem tablets were seized from eatables and grocery in Andheri. It was meant for Texas in USA.
In the fourth case, 941 grams of amphetamine was hidden in cycling helmets and bangles. These too were meant for Australia.
In the fifth case, 848 grams of amphetamine was hidden in hose pipes and were seized from a courier agency at Dongri. It was destined for Dubai and New Zealand.
In the sixth operation, 17 grams of amphetamine were hidden in a 1 TB hard disk meant for Switzerland. The official said that this was an interstate racket.
Whenever an order was received from any of these countries, some of the main accused like the Ivory Coast national would arrange for a package in which these could be smuggled abroad.
The official said that this had been ongoing since the past two months. “In India and especially areas around Mumbai, since there is manufacturing of synthetic drugs like Amphetamine that are in high demand in countries like Australia, it has become a hub of supplying narcotics through such courier services, ” the official said.
He added that without a tip, it would have been difficult to track the contraband. “It would have been difficult to find these drugs by airport customs as they were packed well,” the official added.
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