The Air Intelligence Unit of Mumbai Customs arrested a South African woman for allegedly smuggling 1.59 kg heroin worth Rs 1.59 crore in the international market.
Customs officials detained Thulile Goodness Dhlamini (21) when she was about to board an Ethiopian Airlines flight (ET-611) to Addis Ababa at 4.45 am on Wednesday.
They found the heroin concealed in the specially designed bottom of her suitcase.
According to Customs officials, Dhlamini was to fly to Harare in Zimbabwe via Addis Ababa. During questioning, Dhlamini said she had arrived in Delhi on December 16 and stayed in a hotel.
“She was given the suitcase by an Indian in Delhi, whom we are looking for,” said B. S. Nunwal, Additional Commissioner of Customs, Air Intelligence Unit.
She came to Mumbai on Tuesday night to catch the next day’s flight.
On checking her passport, Customs authorities found that this was her first visit to India. They suspect that the consignment was meant for a drug syndicate in Zimbabwe.
Smuggling of heroin from India to foreign destinations is a lucrative business as the local value of the seized drug is only Rs 5.16 lakh.
“In the international market, its value is more than Rs 1.5 crore,” an official said, requesting anonymity for lack of authorisation to speak to the media.