The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs late on Thursday laid a trap and arrested a 41-year-old Zambian national with 3.5 kg of heroin from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The seized drug is valued at Rs 18 crore.
According to the AIU officials, the arrested woman has been identified as Queency Seketi and she was travelling from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Mumbai. During the course of the investigation, officials learnt that the woman is a housewife in Zambia and not part of a drug cartel.
“She is very poor due to which the members of the drug cartel hired her to work as a carrier for them. She was offered $2000 (Rs 1.47 lakh) for the job,” said an officer.
The authorities further said that they had received intelligence input that a woman from Zambia was to land in Mumbai with drugs. Subsequently, the AIU officials intercepted her on the airport premises and conducted a search and found the drugs hidden in a small cavity of her trolley bag. The heroin was seized and she was taken into custody.
The AIU officials said that this is the second time in the last one week that they had seized heroin in such a manner. Earlier on Monday, a mother-daughter duo, travelling from Johannesburg to Mumbai through Doha by Qatar Airlines, was caught with alleged heroin worth Rs 25 crore.
Officials said they were trying to ascertain whether the drugs were meant to be sold in India or were on their way to being transferred to another country from here.
“We are trying to get details as to who gave her this package and to whom she was supposed to hand it over,” said an officer about the Zambian woman.
The woman has been booked under relevant sections of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. She was produced in court on Friday and remanded in judicial custody.