Three Vietnamese nabbed with drugs worth Rs 21 crore from Paharganj | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Three Vietnamese nabbed with drugs worth Rs 21 crore from Paharganj

An international drug trafficking racket, involved in pumping cocaine in India from Latin American, south Asian and some African countries, was busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday.

delhi Updated: Jan 21, 2017 23:38 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Three Vietnamese nationals, including a 36-year-old woman, were arrested and three kilograms of cocaine and 450 grams of methaqualone, valued at over Rs 21 crore in the international market, seized from their possession.
Three Vietnamese nationals, including a 36-year-old woman, were arrested and three kilograms of cocaine and 450 grams of methaqualone, valued at over Rs 21 crore in the international market, seized from their possession. (Handout)

An international drug trafficking racket, involved in pumping cocaine in India from Latin American, south Asian and some African countries, was busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday.

Three Vietnamese nationals, including a 36-year-old woman, were arrested and three kilograms of cocaine and 450 grams of methaqualone, valued at over Rs 21 crore in the international market, seized from their possession. NCB sleuths nabbed the trio from a hotel in central Delhi’s Paharganj.

Rajendra Pal Singh, deputy director general of NCB told HT that the arrested were identified as T Hach Thi Thanh, 36, and her two male accomplices Phan Van Soan, 27, and Van Taon Do, 39. The cocaine seized from them was smuggled into India from Brazil via Vietnam and Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa by Thanh and Soan.

Interestingly, the consignment of cocaine was concealed in a way that it passed undetected at security check points at the IGI airport. Even the X-ray machines at the airports could not detect the packets.

Read more: Six heroin peddlers arrested

Madho Singh, NCB’s zonal director (Delhi unit), said the cocaine was stuffed in small packets which were further tightly wrapped with several layers of black polythene. The packets were then hidden between two thick layers of black polythene and kept in the bags.

“X-ray machines detect suspicious items through colour coding. The packets of drugs went undetected because they appeared black in the X-ray machines,” Singh said, adding the two Vietnamese citizens arrived at IGI Airport by Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa on Friday.

After landing in Delhi, Thanh and Soan reached a hotel in Paharganj while their aide Van Taon Do was staying since January 16. NCB sleuths were tipped off about the drug consignment by their informers and they raided the hotel room where the three Vietnamese nationals were caught with cocaine and methaqualone.

Interrogation of the trio revealed that they were transporting the consignment on instructions of two of their handlers — a woman staying in Vietnam and a Nigerian national staying in India. They were supposed to handover the drugs to the Nigerian national.

“The three accused only speak Vietnamese. We took help from Vietnam embassy officials as translators,” said a senior NCB official.

While Thanh and Soan were visiting India on a tourist visa for the first time, NCB officials suspect that Van Taon Do may have been a regular visitor. Soan told NCB officials that he allegedly has trafficked drugs into various south Asian and African countries like Singapore, Combodia and Togo in the past three years.

Read more:Drugs worth Rs 1 bn seized in Delhi

In a separate operation, three men were nabbed near Jahangirpuri Metro station with 14 kilograms of hashish on Friday. The arrested trio were smuggling the hash into Delhi from Himachal Pradesh in an i20 car.

The drugs recovered from them were to be delivered to one Gopal Das, a supplier in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad, Haryana. Das and the two carriers, Rajinder and Brij Kishore, were arrested.