A party drug worth Rs65 lakh was seized by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs on Tuesday night. This is 13th attempt foiled by the Customs in four months.
The Customs officials found 6.5kg ketamine hydrochloride hidden in nine wooden photo frames, which was to be smuggled to Kuala Lumpur.
Jafarulla Khan Gulap Khan, 55, a Chennai resident, had checked in the bag that contained the drug and had also cleared the immigration at the Mumbai international airport.
He was to board Malaysia Airlines flight MH 195 to Kuala Lumpur.
An AIU batch headed by Sameer Wankhede, deputy commissioner of Customs, intercepted Khan. On checking his bag, they found nine wooden photo frames of 10x15 inches. On breaking the frame, they found the drug in plastic bags.
Khan was arrested on Wednesday under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. He was produced before a court, which remanded him in judicial custody till December 10, said his advocate Ravi Hirani.
Hirani said his client was not aware of the contents of the bag.
During questioning, Khan told officials that he came to Mumbai from Chennai on Monday and the bag was given to him by a man on the Western Express Highway in Andheri.
Khan said he was paid 1700 Ringgits (Rs31,000) and given air tickets to carry the bag to Kuala Lumpur from where he was to take it to Labuan in Malaysia.
Customs officials said Khan was a part-time driver in Chennai. On checking his passport, the officials found that he had 23 visits abroad, most of them to Malaysia.
“This means he went abroad twice a month,” said an official.