The in-line baggage screening system of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is under lens after a South African woman was held for smuggling 18 kg of a banned drug in June.
An investigation by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) revealed the woman smuggled it out of the Delhi airport.
The woman, a known international drug peddler, had travelled from the Delhi airport eight times in 10 months till June. Every time, she carried the drug in her check-in baggage which is checked by the airport staff. But due to lack of training, they are unable to identify such drugs.
The last time the woman came to India on June 18, 2016, on a business visa, valid up to July 21.
“She has admitted to smuggling the drug into other countries from Delhi. Her claim has been verified by documents,” said a NCB official.
“She used to stay in Burari in north Delhi. We have traced the supplier. She cleared the security check by putting small packets of the drug in carbon paper that was placed in the check-in luggage.
The in-line baggage system managed by a private operator was unable to detect the drug during screening. Even this time, she was caught before she went for a security check”.
The woman was travelling to Addis Ababa,when 15 packets wrapped in carbon paper weighing about 18 kg were detected in her luggage. The drug was found to be “methaqualone” (known as a party drug).
NCB officials said the suspect was on their wanted list.
“When wrapped in carbon paper, any narcotic substance appears orange in colour. Metal is also of the same colour in the X-ray screening. The staff need to be trained to identify drugs,” the official said.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that is responsible for security at the airport, said trained security personnel were needed to be deployed there. Even some theft cases were reported when baggage went for screening.