Since the last two days, 33-year-old Pumla Caroline’s secret is safely lodged inside her stomach, literally.
The South African national has been held by the Customs authorities for two consecutive days for concealing “a suspicious object” in her stomach.
The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Customs intercepted Caroline at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Tuesday at 8.30 am based on information that she had concealed cocaine in her body.
Caroline had arrived from Sao Paulo in Brazil via Dubai by Emirates flight EK-504.
When she refused to cooperate, the Customs authorities took her to JJ Hospital at 3 pm.
A senior Customs official said that following an X-Ray, the doctors’ report indicated, “Some capsule-like object in her body.” But the report could not determine the object’s exact nature.
Customs authorities have been making futile attempts to feed Caroline so that she could pass stools and eject the object naturally. “She was offered banana but she has refused to eat,” an official said, adding that the suspect was only sipping little water from time to time.
“The doctors are at present waiting for the natural course and if she doesn’t cooperate we would decide further course of action,” the official said declining to elaborate on ‘next course of action’.
Officials suspect Caroline might have taken some medicine to constipate herself. They explained that this was the modus operandi of drug carriers who concealed drugs in capsules and swallowed the same. The drugs can then be held in the body for longer hours.
In this case, Customs suspect she might have swallowed the suspicious object in her body since Sunday night as she had taken the flight from Sao Paulo on early hours of Monday.
What has made this case rare is the time duration for which she has managed to dodge the Customs. “Generally, in such cases, the recovery is made in five to six hours,” the official said.
Customs officials are also concerned that if the capsule, as suspected, is stuffed with cocaine, it can bursts inside the body causing death.
Additional Commissioner of Customs (AIU), B. S. Nunwal confirmed that they were trying to find out what was concealed in her body.