Delhi Customs seize 5.85 kg cocaine at Indira Gandhi International Airport

ANIUpdated: Thursday, April 07, 2022, 08:49 PM IST
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Delhi Customs seize 5.85 kg cocaine at Indira Gandhi International Airport | PIB

Delhi Airport Customs seized 5.85 kg cocaine, the biggest at any airport in India, on April 6, 2022 night at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Union Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

"The seizure last night by the Delhi Customs signifies the fight carried out by the Indian Customs against the menace of drugs," the ministry said.

In the past six months, Customs at the IGI Airport alone has booked 16 cases under NDPS Act, the highest number at any airport in the Country. In the process, almost 33.70 kg of Heroin and 12.60 kg of Cocaine has been seized from International passengers, mostly nationals of African origin.

During the 2021-22 financial year 35 cases were booked by Customs at IGI Airport, with a street value of drugs estimated at Rs 887.35 crore. 34 passengers have also been arrested in the process.

Two distinct modus operandi have been observed in these seizures. Some of the passengers pack the drugs inside latex capsules, which are then swallowed by them in order to get past Customs officers easily at the Airport.

Later, they eject these capsules after consuming laxatives, running a great risk to their own lives. This modus operandi is not only very difficult to detect, but also very difficult to retrieve.

The suspected passengers need to be admitted to government hospitals, where the extraction is conducted under medical supervision. This process often takes 4 to 5 days, sometimes longer.

These passengers are kept constantly under strict observation and guarded day-and-night by the Customs officers, at great risk to their own lives due to COVID-19 pandemic. The seizure of narcotics drugs at the airport is just the beginning of a tough, long legal battle that ensues later, the ministry said in a statement.

In the second method, the drug is concealed in specially made cavities in the hand-baggage or Checked-in baggage being carried by the passengers. Such cases are detected by the combined use of the Customs Canine Squad and High-resolution X-ray.

Both these modus operandi have been detected at IGI Airport, the ministry said.

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