Peddlers tweak concealment method to smuggle cocaine

Drug syndicates have shunned the old practice of body concealment to sneak-in drugs with newer methods to hoodwink the authorities, the latest cases have revealed.

“There is a change in modus operandi adopted by the drug mules from body concealment to meticulous baggage concealment which throws newer challenges to law enforcement agencies,” said an officer from an enforcement agency who is part of investigations.

Drugs are wrapped in many pouches and special cavities are created in the baggage to conceal them. The earlier method was to conceal the contraband in the rectum. Such carriers are putting themselves at a grave risk, authorities stated. Such passengers are convinced for prompt self-removal. Delayed removal of rectal foreign bodies can lead to severe complications including abdominal, rectal pains associated with bleeding and infections.

Cocaine, regarded as the drug of the rich, is in high demand. The syndicates have been active on a massive scale during the pandemic which can be derived from the large number of seizures of cocaine by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in the city. The total quantity of cocaine seized by DRI in the last fortnight is around 4.5 kgs, having a value of Rs. 27 crore in the illicit market. “These series of continuous seizures of cocaine by DRI in Mumbai is indicative of a very high demand of cocaine even though it is the most expensive narcotics drug,” the officer said.

Investigations revealed that multiple gangs are involved in discreetly sourcing the drugs with multiple layers involved. The contraband is supplied only to known persons to avoid arrest. Sources stated that cocaine is mainly produced in Latin American countries. It is transported to Brazil and from there it is taken to Africa’s Lagos or Lome for wrapping and concealing. After that, it is smuggled to India through carriers who have been briefed about the delivery method.

Across the country, local peddlers are given small quantities to be sold in metro cities. The peddlers are paid handsomely and they sell it to only specific clientele to avoid being arrested. The network of peddlers carrying small quantities and targeting mostly the youths make it difficult for agencies to bust the entire racket.

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