Mother-daughter duo held with 4.9kg heroin at Mumbai airport

The mother-daughter duo, Vaidya Vay Kuchete and Annie Kuchete, from Republic of Malawi flew to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International on September 19 via Qatar Airways flight QR 558 that landed at 8.45pm
Representational Image.
Representational Image.
Published on Sep 22, 2021 03:36 PM IST
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ByNeha LM Tripathi

Mumbai airport customs arrested two passengers for smuggling of 4.9 kg heroin on Sunday night. The narcotic drug is valued at 24.76 crore. It was concealed inside cavities of a trolley bag of the passengers who arrived from Johannesburg via Doha.

The mother-daughter duo, Vaidya Vay Kuchete and Annie Kuchete, from Republic of Malawi flew to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International (CSMIA) on September 19 via Qatar Airways flight QR 558 that landed at 8.45pm.

Sources from the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai airport customs confirmed that the two were caught on the basis of a tip off. “We caught them after they cleared the green channel. They were arrested after we found heroin in their trolley bag,”said a Customs official.

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The duo was sent to judicial custody at Arthur road jail on Monday evening. “The duo has been remanded in custody till October 5,”the official added.

“We are investigating their travel details to understand if this was their first smuggling attempt or if they have smuggled in the past,” said a senior airport customs official close to the case.

This comes days after 3,000kg drugs worth 21,000 crore were seized at Gujarat port. The consignment, reportedly the largest of Afghan heroin held at Mundra port till date, was shipped to Gujarat via Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port. It was hidden inside the containers of semi-processed Afghan talc.

A Chennai-based couple was arrested and several Afghan nationals from the Delhi-National Capital Region were detained in the matter and are being interrogated for possible Taliban-ISI link.

“Drug smuggling has begun with ease in restrictions by the country.There is no doubt that with the Gujarat port case, authorities across all entry points need to be on alert,”said the senior customs official.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021