Zambian held with drugs worth Rs 6.3 cr | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Zambian held with drugs worth Rs 6.3 cr

The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs arrested a 34-year-old Zambian woman on Saturday when she was trying to smuggle out 5.4 kg of cocaine and 950 gm of heroin, reports Manish Pachouly.

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2010 02:28 IST
Manish Pachouly

The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs arrested a 34-year-old Zambian woman on Saturday when she was trying to smuggle out 5.4 kg of cocaine and 950 gm of heroin.

The contraband, valued at Rs 6.3 crore in the international market, has left the Customs worried that India is being used as a new transit route for smuggling cocaine.

Matapo Twambo was arrested at the international airport when she was about to board Ethiopian Airlines flight number ET-611 to Addis Ababa.

The cocaine, worth Rs 5.4 crore, and heroin, worth Rs 95 lakh, were concealed in the amplifier of a multimedia speaker system. The drugs were noticed when her baggage was being screened.

Twambo was held under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Additional Commissioner of Customs, AIU, B. S. Nunwal, confirmed the arrest.

Customs authorities found that this was Twambo’s maiden visit to India. She had arrived in Mumbai on January 21 and proceeded to New Delhi.

A Customs official, requesting anonymity, said Twambo’s contacts in New Delhi gave her the drugs. She returned to Mumbai on Friday night to take a flight to Addis Ababa.

Investigators have got the names of Twambo’s contacts.

The Customs are investigating how the cocaine came into India. “Cocaine is not manufactured here and it must have definitely been smuggled into the country by some syndicate,” the official said.

The department suspects that the drug could have come to India via Pakistan.