2 Tanzanians held with over 2 kg cocaine concealed in stomach

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Mumbai, Apr 29 (PTI) The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has arrested two Tanzanian nationals at the Mumbai international airport with 151 capsules of cocaine, collectively weighing over 2.2 kilograms, concealed inside their stomachs, an official said on Thursday.

The contraband, which has been seized, is worth around Rs 13.35 crore, he said.

The accused were identified as Mtwanzi Carlos Adam and Rashid Paul Sayula, who travelled from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Mumbai via Addis Ababa. They were on medical visa to India, he said.

'The duo was apprehended by the officers of the DRI's Mumbai zonal unit on April 22 based on the intelligence inputs that they were carrying some contraband substance by concealing it in their body,' the official added.

After taking them into custody at the airport, their medical examination was conducted at the state-run J J Hospital on the court orders, he added.

During their X-ray screening, presence of some foreign material was detected in their stomach, following which they were admitted to a hospital, he said, adding that during their six-day long stay at the facility till April 28, Mtwanzi purged 54 capsules, while Sayula purged 97 capsules.

'A total of 810 grams of white coloured powder was recovered from 54 capsules and 1,415 grams of such powder from 97 capsules. On testing, the powder was found to be cocaine,' the official said.

'The cocaine weighed 2.225 kg and valued around Rs 13.35 crore in the illicit market. It was seized under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act,' he said.

In their statements, Mtwanzi and Sayula admitted to have swallowed the capsules before embarking on the flight to Mumbai, he said.

Both the accused were formally placed under arrest on Thursday and produced before a local court, which remanded them in judicial custody.

The investigation conducted so far revealed that the they are part of a drug syndicate, which is involved in the smuggling of narcotic drugs concealed in their body, he said.

This is third case of narcotic smuggling detected by the DRI Mumbai in the last six months, wherein the medical visa facility has been abused by foreign nationals of African countries, he said. PTI DC NP NP