Nigerian national held with cocaine worth over ₹6 cr.

Linked to two other drug busts this year

July 17, 2019 02:12 am | Updated 09:33 am IST - Mumbai

The Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Monday arrested a Nigerian national after he was allegedly found to be in possession of over 1 kg of high quality cocaine worth over ₹6 crore. Police said the accused is a member of an international cartel connected to two previous seizures of the drug.

According to ANC officials, the accused, identified as Bonaventure Nwude (35) is a Nigerian national who was staying in Koparkhairane in Navi Mumbai. The police said he was intercepted by the Bandra unit of the ANC near the Khar Telephone Exchange based on a tip-off.

“The accused was found to be carrying 1.2 kgs of cocaine of superior quality, which is worth ₹6.12 crore in the illegal drug market. His interrogation revealed that he had picked up the consignment from a Mozambique native in Delhi and brought it to Mumbai by road,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (ANC) Shivdeep Lande said.

Inquiries have also established Mr. Nwude’s connection to two other seizures by the ANC this year. The first was in January when two Nigerians were held with 1.05 kgs of cocaine worth ₹6.03 crores. In the second incident, a Kenyan national was arrested with 510 grams of cocaine worth ₹3.03 crore.

“The cocaine seized in the first two cases was 96% pure, as certified by the Forensic Sciences Laboratory. We have sent samples from this seizure for tests, but it seems to be of the same quality. These are the raw drugs which are brought from outside India, after which they are mixed with additives like ajinomoto or paraceutamol powder. This process increases the quantity of the powder from 1 kg to 8 kgs, which is then sold to street peddlers. This powder is not more than 25% to 30% pure,” Mr. Lande said.

In the first two cases, the accused had brought the drugs from outside India in the form of pouches, which they had ingested. “After they landed at the Mumbai airport, they excreted the pouches and extracted the drugs, which were mixed and sold to peddlers. In this case, the drugs were brought to the Delhi airport and driven to Mumbai by road,” Mr. Lande said.

Mr. Nwude has been charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and, after being produced in court on Tuesday, has been remanded in police custody till June 22.

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