Mumbai: NCB seizes marijuana worth Rs 50 lakh smuggled via courier; two held

A courier parcel scrutiny led the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seized bud or curated marijuana worth Rs 50 lakh in the international market. Two persons have been placed under arrest.

According to the NCB, they received intelligence of banned contraband being smuggled into the country through couriers. Subsequently, a team of NCB Mumbai led by zonal director Sameer Wankhede intercepted one parcel at Lonavala post office on Friday."A check of the parcel led to the seizure of 1,036 grams of curated marijuana," said Wankhede.

Mumbai: NCB seizes marijuana worth Rs 50 lakh smuggled via courier; two held

During further investigation on who was to receive the parcel, the agency probe led to further seized 74 grams of bud at Bhimashankar CHS at Nerul, Navi Mumbai. They arrested Shrimay Shah, 26, a resident of Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Omkar Tupe,28, a resident of Nerul. "The source of seized contraband is Canada and was destinated to Mumbai and Ahmedabad," said Wankhede.

The courier was delivered at Lonavala over Mumbai to avoid any scrutiny. Areas around the city may have been used by smugglers to bring in banned narcotics substances. The agency is investigating if there are more persons involved.NCB has conducted an intensive operation against the illegal import of bud, which is primarily sourced from the USA and Canada and has huge market demand in Mumbai.

The widespread use and demand of bud in Mumbai region has jacked up the prices in the grey market and it has huge pecuniary gains in trafficking, the agency has said. The sourcing of the bud is primarily through the Darknet, which gives layers of anonymity to buyers and sellers.

The economic transactions in these types of international drug trafficking is based on cryptocurrency dealings, investigations revealed. According to agencies fighting narcotics, drug cartels have come upon using couriering services to smuggle drugs, where the risk of one of their members found carrying drugs is minimal. NCB officers added that drugs like Heroin, trafficked from across the border, are sent from the Indian cities. Hashish, marijuana, and controlled drugs are shipped that are prohibited for sale without prescription.
Due to a lack of monitoring equipment, regulations for the shipment of packages are not followed at times, making it easier for drug cartels. NCB sources stated that courier hubs at metro cities may have been used to smuggle drugs owing to better air connectivity. In a bid to ensure drugs are not couriered abroad or smuggled into the country, the courier hubs in the city and nearby areas are under the lens of the NCB.

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