Kerala

₹25-crore cocaine seized, Filipino held in Kochi airport

NCB sleuths makes the biggest ever drug seizure in State

About three weeks after it picked up a Venezualan national who carried about 1 kg of cocaine in his tummy, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) sleuths on Monday effected the biggest ever seizure of cocaine in the State and arrested a Filipino woman in this connection.

According to officials, Jhonna De Torres, 36, who had landed at the international airport here from Muscat was found carrying 4.5 kilograms of cocaine in her checked-in baggage. The woman was travelling from Sao Paulo to Adis Ababa and from there to Kochi via Muscat.

During an examination, officials found the contraband, worth around ₹25 crore in the international market, being concealed inside a wrapped trolley bag.

Preliminary investigations suggested that the woman had been acting as a carrier of an international drug cartel having strong roots in Latin America. The narcotic drug, which originated from Sao Paulo in Brazil, was destined to be delivered to an unidentified person outside the airport.

Further probe is now under way to identify the receiver.

According to the sleuths, there has been a perceptible rise in the frequency of drug seizures being reported from Kochi of late.

The sleuths had foiled a similar attempt to smuggle cocaine through the international airport and arrested a Paraguay national about one-and-half- months ago.

Interestingly in all the three cases, the contraband had originated from Sao Paulo.

Besides the seizure of cocaine, the enforcement agencies here had seized 19 kg of ephedrine, while it being trafficked to Selengor in Malaysia through the air cargo complex here. Similarly, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had foiled an attempt to smuggle 55 kg of ephedrine through the airport here in August while the Customs sleuths also seized about 14.5 kg of the substance from a South African national here.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 1:23:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/25-crore-cocaine-seized-filipino-held-in-kochi-airport/article22347302.ece

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