In a bid to ensure that sniffer dogs at airport checkpoints do not detect cocaine, drug peddlers coming to India from South America countries have been found using “black cocaine”, which neutralises the smell of cocaine.
This trend came to light after the NCB arrested a Bolivian national, who was allegedly carrying black cocaine, from Mumbai airport on September 25.
The agency also went on to arrest a Nigerian national from Goa who was to receive the contraband.
NCB Mumbai Zonal Director Amit Ghawate said the agency had received a tip-off that a South American national would land at Mumbai airport with a consignment of drugs, which would be passed around Mumbai and nearby states.
The South American was identified as a woman from Bolivia who was travelling from Brazil to Goa with layovers at Addis Ababa and Mumbai.
“On September 25, after the flight landed at the airport, the woman was questioned about the purpose of her visit and the contents of her luggage. But she could not give a satisfactory reply,” Ghawate said.
Consequently, a thorough search of her luggage led to the discovery of false cavities that hid 12 packets of a black-coloured substance.
The woman confessed that the substance, weighing 3.2 kg, was black cocaine. She claimed that she was to deliver the consignment to a Nigerian national in Goa.
Based on NCB’s instructions, the woman asked the Nigerian to come to her hotel room, from where he was arrested.
The agency then corroborated the information provided by the Bolivian national with the apprehended Nigerian.
Later on, the Nigerian also confessed about being part of an international drug syndicate, an officer said.
“The Nigerian is a drug trafficker, who was staying in Goa and supplying drugs to various peddlers in multiple states. Further investigation is in progress.”
The officer added that black cocaine is a rare drug comprising a mixture of the regular cocaine and other chemicals that can dodge sniffer canines.
“The seizure comes at the onset of the festive season… this type of drug is new and would have been sold easily in the market,” the officer said.