CHENNAI – Customs officials at Chennai Airport on Tuesday arrested a Ugandan woman arriving from Ethiopia, seizing methaqualone and heroin worth over Ugx2b.
According to customs, a sniffer dog at Chennai airport helped in detecting the unnamed Ugandan, who was smuggling drugs, valued at Rs5.35 crore. A senior Customs source said that the Ugandan arrived at Chennai Airport from Addis Ababa, aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Flight No. ET-692 on December 18, before she was intercepted.
Chennai Customs said the woman’s baggage was identified to contain drugs by the Sniffer Dog Orio. The officers then recovered 1,542 gram of methaqualone and 644 grams of heroin concealed in her check-in baggage.
Customs officers seized the drugs under NDPS Act, 1985, arresting the woman.
Sources at Entebbe International Airport revealed that the said woman had started her journey from Uganda, via Ethiopia.
The passenger is the first Ugandan to be arrested in drug-related trafficking cases in the last six months in India after a tough crackdown on the vice.
The number of Ugandans, especially women, arrested on allegations of possession of narcotic drugs while entering India is increasing.
More than 18 Ugandans have been arrested at three airports in India for trafficking narcotic drugs this year, according to available records. Its said the women are introduced to the vice through relationships involving, mainly Nigerian cartels.
Indian customs department statistics at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Chennai Airport, and Coimbatore International Airport show that majority of Ugandans arrested carrying narcotic drugs are women and the method used in trafficking drugs is swallowing them in pellets (capsules).
According to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, of India, a person convicted for importing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is liable to imprisonment for a term not below 10 years “but which may extend to 20 years, and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees ($1,284), but which may extend to two lakh rupees (S$2,568).”