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Kenyan woman nabbed in India with suspected Sh280m worth of cocaine at Mumbai airport

A Kenyan woman was on December 28, 2023, arrested for alleged involvement in smuggling cocaine valued at a staggering Sh280 million (Rs 14.90 crore) at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMI) in Mumbai.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) reported that the arrest was made following intelligence-driven surveillance as the woman arrived on a flight from Nairobi.

Acting on intelligence, the Kenyan national, who came via flight no KQ 204 from Nairobi to Mumbai on December 28, 2023, was apprehended by DRI officers.

“The ingenious concealment of the drugs involved two black polythene packets cleverly placed within a hair conditioner bottle and a body wash bottle,” DRI said according to local media.

According to DRI, the drugs were ingeniously concealed in two black-coloured polythene packets containing a white powdery substance, inside a hair conditioner bottle and a body wash bottle.

The passenger was arrested under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 and subsequently remanded to judicial custody.

The DRI emphasised that the investigation is ongoing and efforts are being made to unravel possible links in the wider drug supply chain.

In 2023 alone, several Kenyans were arrested in drug-related cases abroad.

In June, two Kenyan women were arrested in India trying to smuggle in cocaine worth Sh510 million.

Delhi Customs officials said they had arrested an unnamed woman, who had arrived in India via Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and had tried to smuggle in cocaine hidden in whisky bottles.

The Kenyan woman, Indian authorities said, had tried to smuggle in 253.7 grams of cocaine hidden in three bottles of whisky.

According to customs officials at the Delhi airport, the value of the cocaine seized was Sh380 million.

The same week, another Kenyan was arrested by customs officials at the same airport with two bottles of whisky containing dissolved cocaine worth Sh130 million.

The 25-year-old woman was also travelling to India from Addis Ababa and her details are yet to be released. Also on Wednesday, Indian officials announced the seizure of methamphetamine from a Tanzanian national arriving from Uganda via Dubai.

The drugs were hidden in 100 capsules swallowed by the suspect. This comes as customs officials expressed their determination to curb the trafficking of drugs using their routes to various destinations.

On September 24, a Kenyan car dealer was arrested in Sri Lanka, at the Bandaranaike International Airport with 4 kilograms of cocaine estimated worth Sh24 million.

Recently, customs officials at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi destroyed 51.68 kilogrammes of heroin and cocaine in the fight against drug abuse.

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