Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials nabbed a woman passenger minutes after she landed from an Ethiopian airliner in Mumbai and seized 2.85 kilogrammes of cocaine worth Rs 17.1 crore on Monday morning. The 27-year-old woman, Khiangte Lalthlamuani, is a native of Meghalaya and she had travelled to Togo and Ethiopia before coming to Mumbai, the NCB sources said.
“She went from Lome in Togo to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. We have learnt that she picked up the contraband from outside the airport in Ethiopia and left for Mumbai. After we received a tip-off, we laid a trap outside the international airport and arrested the woman,” said an NCB officer on condition of anonymity.
When the officials checked her luggage, they found cocaine stuffed inside capsules that were kept in her hand baggage, NCB officials added.
The woman is a professional carrier, and she had been in the business since past few years, sources said. The preliminary investigation also revealed that she had not only acted as a carrier for supplying drugs within India but also in many other countries.
The investigators are yet to identify the source of the banned contraband and the identity of the person who was going to receive it from her. The woman is not cooperating with the investigation and is being evasive, the officials added. “In the recent past, we have seen that drugs have changed hands outside the airports as it reduces the risk of being caught for the carrier if his or her identity is compromised. Hence we wanted to act swiftly,” said the officer.
The woman has been booked under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). She has been remanded to NCB custody for further investigation.