The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) unearthed an international smuggling racket of drugs in an operation spanning three days which included verifying information, secret surveillance and a chase on the roads of Navi Mumbai.
The crackdown codenamed ‘Operation Calypso’ resulted in the arrest of two Indian women and two African nationals. DRI has seized 504 grams of cocaine worth few crores concealed in a steam press iron sent by courier from Trinidad and Tobago to Mumbai. Based on information about a courier package of steam iron being shipped to the city containing contraband, the agency mounted surveillance. “DRI officers immediately swung into action and as expected, during prior verification the address declared on the courier packet appeared suspicious, thereby suggesting that challenge would come during intercepting the Indian recipients of the contraband. The officers first intercepted the consignment and ascertained the presence of cocaine. Thereafter, we kept discreet watch and when a woman came to pick up the consignment on November 17, she was apprehended by the team,” a senior official said.
Investigations done by the agency revealed that there were multiple persons involved, from taking delivery to receiving the drugs. The woman was nabbed and was taken to the location in Navi Mumbai where she was to deliver the drugs.
Sources said that one of the African nationals who was taking the delivery from the woman was caught red-handed while another one watching from a close distance fled in an auto rickshaw. However, he soon ran out of luck as DRI sleuths chased and nabbed him. In a bid to ensure that the delivery appeared realistic, services of an app-based taxi were availed to reach Navi Mumbai. During the operation, DRI teams lay in wait for nearly an hour after which one African national approached the taxi in which the woman who was to deliver was waiting. When he attempted to take the parcel, he was overpowered by the officers. The other African national too was caught following a brief chase. Based on the information provided by the arrested persons, the agency alerted their counterparts who reached Udaipur where a Mumbai based woman who is alleged to be part of the syndicate was holidaying. She was nabbed and brought to the city. According to DRI, the investigations revealed that this syndicate had cleared multiple consignments of cocaine in the past and the total quantity of cocaine smuggled by the same modus operandi was over 3.3 kilograms since August this year, having a market value of over Rs 20 crore.