By Anand Singh (IANS) Even as the drugs smuggled from foreign countries concealed in different items have posed a huge challenge for the Customs Department and other agencies, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has been sharing the latest modus operandi of the smugglers with various agencies to keep a check on them.
The NCB, which is the nodal agency for checking drug smuggling from foreign countries, has busted several such rackets in the last few months.
The agency has intercepted several drug consignments concealed in an air compressor machine, in metal piston (spare part), stuffed in tailoring material among several others.
Commenting on the new modus operandi of the drug smugglers, NCB Deputy Director K.P. Malhotra told IANS, “NCB being the nodal drug law enforcement agency shares the new modus operandi with other agencies to keep a tab on drug trafficking and to step up vigilance at various levels.”
Another NCB official said that the agency shares the latest modus operandi of the international as well as national drug smugglers with other agencies, on the basis of its investigations. He said the NCB shares information including how the contraband is smuggled to India after being concealed in different items, the method of payment and how orders are made.
In the last three months, the NCB on the basis of specific information seized several drug parcels, dealing a big blow to the smuggling racket which has been posing a threat to the country.
On the basis of information, the NCB seized a parcel sent to India from the US on August 31 from DHL couriers in Delhi. On September 18, it arrested C. Gidwani from Lucknow.
According to the officials, the parcel was found to contain 2.7 kg premium quality marijuana from the US, concealed in an “air compressor machine”.
During the NCB probe, it was revealed that Gidwani ordered the drugs from the US through Instagram or Wickr and the payment was made through bitcoins.
The NCB got hold of the drug consignment as it came to know that the consignor was based in the US. The NCB officials said that a few earlier seizures made by the agency had the same point of origin which alerted them.
Similarly, the NCB on October 16 intercepted a parcel in Pune’s Lonavala post office and seized 1,036 gram of curated marijuana or “ganja”. During the probe, the NCB seized 74 grams of curated marijuana from Navi Mumbai and arrested two persons — Shrimay Shah, a resident of Ahmedabad and Omkar Tupe, a resident of Navi Mumbai.
According to the NCB officials, the source of the seized contraband was Canada and it was destined for Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
The NCB also busted a drug syndicate being run by Afghan nationals in India. A total of 380 gram of premium quality Afghan heroin was seized by arresting four Afghan nationals involved in the racket.
A NCB official said the heroin was seized from DHL Couriers in Delhi on September 29, which was concealed in a metal piston.
The consignment was shipped from Afghanistan and was destined for Delhi.
“The contraband was concealed in a special cavity made inside a metal piston,” the official said, adding that further investigation in the case resulted in the arrest of four Afghan refugees staying in Delhi.
The NCB probe revealed that the arrested Afghan nationals were indulging in drug trafficking in the guise of language interpreters. “They used to get instructions from their handler or the drug kingpin, who is based in Afghanistan to collect parcels and hand it over to the next channel. The kingpin had created multiple layers in the delivery network and the person handing over the parcel did not know the identity of the next one,” the official said.
In a similar fashion, the NCB seized 670 gm of cocaine at Delhi on September 19, while the accused was arrested from Mumbai.
The NCB said that the contraband was concealed in a parcel containing ‘tailoring material’, especially in thread rolls.
During the NCB probe, it was found that the contraband was sourced from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
The NCB in September also busted an international drug racket by arresting eight people, including two African nationals and one Burmese national along with the kingpin of the drug syndicate and seized around eight kg of heroin, 455 gram cocaine and 1.1 kg premium quality marijuana.
The NCB claimed that a follow up investigation revealed that around 52 kg of contraband has been trafficked by the syndicate in the last few months in India.