Thursday, October 01, 2020

Drugs worth Rs 20L hidden in handbag seized at KIA

Bengaluru: After a brief hiatus, the cargo section of Kempegowda International Airport has witnessed yet another drug haul — this time of banned sedative methaqualone. The contraband, worth Rs 20 lakh, was hidden in a women’s handbag couriered from Nigeria.

Customs officers suspect a Nigerian national, who was arrested in connection with smuggling of ecstasy pills worth Rs 1 crore through KIA cargo in early September, is behind the methaqualone smuggling bid as well.

Sources with the Cargo Intelligence Unit (CIU) of Bengaluru Customs at KIA said on Monday evening, they received a parcel via FedEx air courier addressed to Sylvester Henry Owen, 41, in Bengaluru for clearance.

“Sylvester, a Nigerian national, was arrested by our team on September 10 in a case involving smuggling of 1,980 ecstasy pills from Belgium, which were concealed in a foot massager. The name on the fresh consignment led our team to examine the contents thoroughly,” a customs officer said.

The new consignment sent from Nigeria by an unknown source contained synthetic women’s hair, men’s T-shirts and a black ladies’ handbag. “Scanning of the handbag revealed a bulge at the bottom. We immediately cut it open only to find a yellowish black pouch with the drug hidden in plastic covers,” explained the investigator, who unearthed the methaqualone weighing 400gm.

01/10/20 Petlee Peter/Times of India

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