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Smuggling of heroin into India through the Gulf is on rise

Sources said heroin is often smuggled to India, while ketamine and ephedrine are smuggled out of the country.

delhi Updated: Oct 05, 2016 22:51 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times
Smuggling,IGI Airport,Delhi
Sources said smugglers use peddlers to bring in drugs and they are paid R 25,000 to R 50,000 per trip apart from the fare and stay cost.(AjayAggarwal/HT Photo)

Fine quality heroin is making its way into India from the Gulf countries, via air, hidden in chocolates and paper packets.

The customs at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has approached the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to investigate this new route of drug smuggling.

Recently, heroin worth R12 crore was seized in a month’s time, in three different cases.

“Usually, the value of heroin is R 1 crore per kg, but the one we have seized has been valued at R 3 crore per kg because of the fine quality. In Gulf countries, drugs are banned strictly so we don’t suspect travellers from that part of the world of smuggling, although we usually stop passengers coming from there for gold smuggling. Now, we have asked the DRI to investigate this trend,” said a customs official.

Sources said heroin is often smuggled to India, while ketamine and ephedrine are smuggled out of the country. Recently, a woman,who is a known international drug peddler, was arrested at the Delhi airport. She admitted to carrying drugs in her check-in baggage.

The woman had to travel to Addis Ababa, Ethopia, with 15 packets wrapped in carbon paper weighing about 18 Kg. These were detected during checks. Using the drugs detection kit, the authorities found it to be “Methaqualone” (a known as party drug).

“If wrapped in carbon paper, drugs or any other narcotic substances would appear as orange in colour. But no such scanning is done if a passenger is coming to Delhi. We only stop suspicious passengers based on the intelligence. Now, west Asian countries are also on our list and passengers are checked for drug smuggling,” the official added.

Sources said smugglers use peddlers to bring in drugs and they are paid R 25,000 to R 50,000 per trip apart from the fare and stay cost. They are also adopting a unique modus operandi to escape the check. In one of the cases, one kg heroin was concealed in chocolate boxes.

First Published: Oct 05, 2016 22:43 IST