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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Flyer held in Mumbai aiport with Rs 20 crore ‘liquid’ cocaine in 2 whiskey bottles

MUMBAI: In the continuing trend of adopting imaginative techniques for smuggling contraband, a foreigner tried to sneak in 3. 6kg cocaine worth Rs 20 crore dissolved in liquid in two whiskey bottles at the city airport on Thursday but was caught by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officers.

The passenger travelled from Lagos to Mumbai via Addis Ababa — from where most of the drug is sourced.

The passenger was intercepted by DRI officers based on specific information as scanning wouldn’t throw up the presence of narcotics. A thorough search of the baggage led to the recovery of two 1-litre bottles of whiskey. On testing the liquid inside the bottles by the drug detection kit, the presence of cocaine was indicated. The foreign national has been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and will be produced before the court on Friday.

Officials said this method of smuggling by dissolving cocaine in a liquid, particularly liquor, is a rarity. Cocaine is among the most common drugs of abuse and imaginative techniques of smuggling cocaine through border controls have happened, an official said. Cocaine dissolved in liquids, particularly liquor.

A Narcotics Control Bureau official said the UK and Switzerland have developed two techniques that will help customs officials establish the presence of contraband without opening the bottle. Officials said they are yetto gather detailed information on separating cocaine from the liquid. “Cocaine was ingeniously dissolved in the liquid contained in the said bottles to make it extremely difficult to detect. This is a unique modus operandi busted by the DRI indicating the uphill task faced by the officers on a regular basis to check the drug inflow into the country,” said an official.

He said that they busted the case as they had specific intelligence of the suspect. Further investigation in the case is under progress to unearth and neutralize the international drug smuggling syndicate behind this, the DRI said. Officials are interrogating the accused to know to whom the drugs were to be delivered.

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