12 foreigners were arrested for drug offences in Mumbai this year
The new challenge faced by the enforcement agencies is the involvement of international drug syndicatesmumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2017 17:10 IST
Twelve foreigners were arrested in drug related cases in the city in 2017. This number was three last year, said the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) data.
“The foreigners arrested are mules or carriers who are lured into the trade with money,” said S.K Sinha, zonal director, NCB. “Most of the foreigners held travelled on tourist visas while few of them were found travelling on medical and business visas.”
The new challenge faced by the enforcement agencies is the involvement of international drug syndicates. The NCB has arrested foreigners hailing from Kenya, Bolivia, Nigeria and South Africa.
The questioning of the accused foreign nationals has revealed that the carriers usually don’t know who they are working for. They are, most of the time, communicating with a person, who himself is unaware of the real drug lord. “Certain drugs are landed in a particular city after which they are circulated to other places through carriers. We have seized drugs from foreigners which were meant to be taken abroad,” said Sinha. Such is the secrecy maintained that it is nearly impossible for the agencies to break the entire chain: from drug manufacturers and carriers, to sellers and peddlers.
Investigations revealed that foreigners are lured by the easy money in smuggling contraband. After their arrival in the city, handlers wait for three to four days. This is the cushion period to ascertain if the carrier is not under the agencies’ radar. The carrier then receives a message on WhatsApp to hand over the contraband to another person.
Metro cities are used as landing points owing to better air connectivity. Further, these crowded cities are perfect for carriers to escape the eye of the agencies. Sources said that the agency is keeping a watch on certain flights going through a specific route.