Customs officials at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) arrested an Afghan on Saturday on charges of smuggling in four kilograms of heroin.
The man, identified by sources as Farid, arrived by a Kam Air flight (RQ 013) from Kabul at around 11 am.
“The man had concealed the heroin in a polythene and wrapped it around his body, underneath his clothes,” a senior custom official said. “Investigations are still on in the case, and we cannot give more details before Sunday,” he said.
He said the contraband would fetch at least Rs 4 crore in the international market. He said Delhi has become a transit point for drug-runners, and the department has been cracking down on the drug syndicates.
Drug syndicate busted
On the night of May 25, the custom officials had detained two Thai women at IGIA on charges of carrying narcotics capsules while on their return journey to Bangkok.
While trying to find out the source of the drugs being carried by the women, the Customs Department managed to catch some big fish. “We have arrested four Nigerians, two Thai and one Ivory Coast national in this connection. After arresting the Thai women, we tried to find out who had called them to Delhi and supplied the contraband,” said a senior customs official.
“Our biggest catch is a Nigerian, Young, who is an expert in making narcotics capsules,” he said. One capsule carries 8 grams of heroin if a woman is carrying it in her body and 14 grams, if it is a man, the official said. Making such capsules is not easy because in the event of a leak, the carrier might die. “The heroin is covered in cellophane tape and aluminum foils to make them leak- proof. It takes about eight hours to make capsules for one kilogram of heroin,” the official added.
The customs officials arrested the alleged smugglers from a flat in Vikaspuri area. “In the raid, we recovered about 700 grams of contraband from a man identified as Franscis, a long-time operator. He said about 400 grams of the contraband was cocaine,” the official said. “This syndicate has branches in Europe,” he said.
Nigerian drug syndicates have started operating on a big scale from the Capital. “Heroin is very cheap in Afghanistan, where it is grown in the form of opium and then processed. The Afghan operators bring them to India via Punjab,” he said. The Indian operators then buy and sell the contraband to the Nigerian syndicate who smuggle it out of the country.
(With inputs from Abhishek Bhalla)