Sunday, October 15, 2017

Concern over CIAL turning hub for drug smuggling

Kochi:  The Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery, a top choice of international passengers, is turning a major transit point for international cartels trafficking drugs from the country.

While enforcement agencies, tracking drug smuggling through airports, have always raised this concern, the seizure of 19kg of ephedrine from the airport the other day has indeed lent strength to their suspicion.

“Ample information is coming in on attempts by drug cartels to convert Kochi into one of their transit points. This is seen as part of attempts by smugglers, mainly those based out of Tamil Nadu, to diversify their operations to less monitored airports,” said officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.

While operations were earlier carried out with the help of carriers, smugglers changed track to cargo two years ago to avoid being caught. “Contraband is sent in the name of fictitious exporters to their agents abroad. To avoid being traced, they employ local people like an unsuspecting autorickshaw or a cargo van driver to take the consignment to the airport,” they explained.
14/10/17 U Hiran/The Hindu