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Two Kenyan women arrested in India with narcotics

Police in India are detaining two Kenyan women after they were found in possession of suspected narcotic drugs.

Mwanje Faridah, 42, and Cilian Awar Nyanzangu are among three women arrested at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Sunday. According to the Times of India both suspects were arrested separately.

Faridah was found in possession of 980 grams of a white-colored substance believed to be cocaine while Nyanzangu was carrying 5.16 kilograms of a white powder suspected to be heroin, according to India’s Air Intelligence Unit (AIU).

Authorities said Nyanzangu landed in Mumbai from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The two are set to be arraigned in court to face charges of drug trafficking, an offense that can attract a sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment in India.

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The third case is that of Naaz Farha Sharif, 42, a Mumbai resident who arrested with 4.12 kg of gold hidden in her baggage. Officials said Naaz arrived from Dubai on Saturday morning. She told the officials that she hails from a poor family and carried the gold for monetary consideration.

The arrests come days after another Kenyan woman was nabbed at the Mumbai Airport carrying cocaine worth Sh72 million. The female passenger was apprehended by officials at the airport and immediately detained.

Custom officials found and seized the cocaine which was concealed in the shoes the woman was wearing.

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Customs officials said that they had received intelligence reports from their Kenyan counterparts which led to the arrest. A total of 490 grams of cocaine was recovered before the woman was arrested and sent to judicial custody.

In March, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 8.5 kilograms of heroin worth Sh890 million (Rs 60 crore) and arrested two Kenyan nationals at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport in Ahmedabad.

According to the Indian intelligence, the seizures was one of the largest of drugs at the Ahmedabad-based airport in a single case. According to DRI officials, the two accused, who hid the narcotics in cavities inside their bags, were arrested at the airport premises after they landed in an international flight.

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“We received specific intelligence that two passengers from Kenya are arriving at Ahmedabad Airport and are carrying narcotic drugs with them. Acting on the same, officers of the DRI intercepted the said two Kenyan passengers — a male and a female — at the airport,” read a statement from DRI.

During the examination of their baggage, it was noticed that the empty bags had extra weight and indicated the false cavities inside those bags.

“Both the Kenyan nationals admitted their involvement in drug trafficking and were arrested under the NDPS Act. The modus operandi adopted by the said syndicate indicates that these passengers came to visit India on the pretext of medical visits on the basis of fabricated letters shown as issued by the hospital,” DRI added.

In December 2021, another Kenyan woman was nabbed carrying a smuggled 4 kilograms of gold. According to reports, the woman had also concealed the gold in her undergarments, spice bottles and footwear.