January 7, 2017 2:08:31 am
The Delhi zonal unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested two foreigners — a Brazilian woman and an Afghan man — in separate incidents for allegedly smuggling drugs into the country. Officials said the woman had swallowed 1 kg of cocaine in the form of capsules — a big one that weighed 360 grams and 67 small ones that weighed 11 grams each.
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The woman, arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport on the night of December 30, had to be taken to Safdarjung Hospital so that the capsules could be extracted. Sources said the drugs were meant to be distributed in the capital during New Year parties.
The Afghan man, arrested from the airport on January 4, had swallowed 90 capsules of heroin. NCB sources claimed that the seizures had ensured the drugs don’t make their way to various parties across the capital and neighbouring areas. Sources said cocaine is informally known as Charlie in these circles, while heroin is informally called Horse. About 1 kg of the drugs costs between Rs 1-5 crore in the international market, depending on the quality, sources said.
Deputy director general (NCB) Rajender Pal Singh said both people were arrested based on leads received from the intelligence network. The woman, Joseane Da Silva Antunes (38), had travelled from Sao Paulo to Delhi via Abu Dhabi in an Etihad Airways flight. She was eventually taken to Safdarjung Hospital. “We conducted an X-ray and detected large number of capsules inside her body. A team of doctors then made her eat several bananas and drink juice till she passed the drugs,” said Singh.
Officials said a hotel in central Delhi had been booked under her name for 10 days. Sources said she was to be contacted by another peddler. At least one capsule is still inside her body, sources said, adding that doctors are trying to get it out. NCB sources said her passport showed she was travelling to India for the first time. She does not know English and her mobile phone’s language is Portuguese. NCB officials have contacted interpreters to decode information on her phone, said a source.
Singh identified the Afghan man as Mohammad Qasem (50). He was travelling to Delhi from Herat via Kabul. About 90 capsules have been extracted from his body. “He appears to be a habitual offender. The extraction process usually takes two days,” said Singh.
Delhi zonal director Madho Singh said both the accused will be taken into custody once they are discharged from hospital. He said this was Qasem’s seventh visit to India.
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