Mumbai: Heroin worth ₹21 crore seized from Zambian national
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials have arrested a Zambian national at the city airport and seized three kilograms of heroin from her baggage on Thursday. The seized drug is estimated to be worth ₹21 crore in the illicit international market.
DRI officials have said that the foreigner is part of an international drug syndicate that is smuggling narcotic drugs through mules by way of concealment in body and luggage.
The accused Zambian national Juliana Mutale was travelling from Johannesburg to Mumbai via Doha. She was apprehended by the officers of DRI Mumbai zone unit based on the specific intelligence the agency had received recently.
When her baggage was searched in one stroller bag the DRI officials noticed a specially made pocket to conceal articles.
“On tearing the packet three kilograms of cream coloured powder wrapped in black carbon paper packaging was recovered. The recovered material tested positive for the presence of Heroin with the help of the field test kit,” DRI stated.
The three kilograms of cream coloured substance purported to be Heroin is valued at ₹21 crores in the illicit market. The same was seized under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.
Mutale during her interrogation revealed that the drugs’ package was handed over to her in Johannesburg and she was supposed to deliver it in Mumbai. But she is claiming that she does not have many details about the person who was supposed to receive the package. The DRI officials are now trying to find out about other members of the group in the city by scanning her phone call details.
She has admitted her role as a carrier of narcotics drugs and told that she was doing that for monetary gain, the central agency said.
The accused woman hails from a poor background. She had come to India first time and is holding a business visa.She has been lodged at the Byculla women’s jail.
The officials have produced the accused foreigner in a city court that remanded her to judicial custody. The investigators may question her again soon to know more about her handlers.
DRI stated that this is the fourth such case of smuggling of narcotics through passengers, detected by the Mumbai unit of the agency in the past six months.