The Palarivattom police have arrested a foreign woman accused of actively helping a Bangaluru-based African drug racket suspected of having supplied premium party drug MDMA in large quantities to the city.
The arrested was identified as Angella Takijiwaa Brobery, 26, a resident of Ghana. She was arrested by the investigation team from K.R. Puram in Bengaluru after the days-long operation. She remains remanded in judicial custody. The racket was allegedly the biggest smuggler of MDMA to Kerala, especially Kochi.
The arrest comes close on the heels of the arrest of a 36-year-old Nigerian Okafor Eze Emmanuel suspected to be a key figure of the racket on August 23. His custodial interrogation led to the arrest of the woman who stands accused of abetting the racket by arranging accommodation for Emmanuel and his two accomplices identified as Patrick and Aja Francis. Police also claim to have come across WhatsApp messages linking the woman to the racket.
“It has emerged that the woman was an accused in another MDMA-related case registered in Alapuzha after it was found that the cash meant for the suppliers was routed through her account. More arrests are likely in the case,” said S. Sanal, Station House Officer, Palarivattom. In fact, this was the latest in the string of arrests to be made by Palarivattom police in connection with the seizure of 102.04g MDMA hidden in a scooter along the Stadium Link Road in Kaloor on July 20.
Initially, one Haroon Sulthan was arrested in this connection on July 20. This was followed by the arrests of two more accused – Alin Joseph and Niju Peter – and another accused Allan Tony on July 28 and August 5 respectively.
This led to the arrest of one Varghese Joseph Fernandez based in Bengaluru on August 13. He was accused of smuggling MDMA sourced from Delhi and Bengaluru to Kochi in large quantities. All the accused now remain in judicial custody.
Grilling these accused convinced the investigation team about the presence of Emmanuel in the drug smuggling racket. The ensuing probe revealed that the racket had smuggled in 4.50kg MDMA to Kochi in six months.
Emmanuel switched off his mobile phone and kept shifting his base in the wake of arrests of his co-accomplices. A coordinated investigation with the support of the cyber cell and social media major WhatsApp helped to zero in the accused on the run. It has since emerged that he was a key figure in the Bengaluru-based African racket engaged in drug smuggling, police said.
The operation was overseen by District Police Chief (Kochi City) C.H. Nagaraju, Deputy Commissioner S. Sasidharan and Ernakulam Assistant Commissioner P. Raj Kumar.
A team led by Palarivattom Station House Officer S. Sanal, senior civil police officer, senior civil police officer Saneep Kumar, and civil police officers Siji Vijayan, Mahin Abubacker, Arun Surendran, and Unnikrishnan made the arrest.