A 30-year-old Zimbabwean woman has been arrested for allegedly smuggling nearly 3kg heroin through Cochin International Airport here, the Narcotics Control Bureau said here on Monday.
Acting on a specific intelligence input, officers of NCB Cochin Sub Zonal Unit, seized 2.91 kg Heroin from the baggage of the Zimbabwean woman who arrived at the Airport from Johannesburg on June 19.
NCB officers intercepted the woman named Sharon Chigwaza and found the contraband concealed in the specially made false bottom of her trolley bag on her arrival, the agency said in a release.
She was scheduled to travel to Delhi soon after her arrival in Kochi, it said.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the source of the seized contraband was Johannesburg, where it was handed over to her by a Nigerian living in South Africa and the destination was Delhi via Doha-Cochin-Bangalore, the release said.
The agency said over the last year, it has identified an unusual pattern of trafficking of heroin produced in South West Asian countries.
Traditionally, heroin from this region was pushed into Indian territories through land borders with Pakistan, especially through Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
Attempts to traffic South West Asian heroin into India via maritime channels have also been noticed by NCB.
However, due to the increased vigilance being kept by India’s border guarding forces, especially by BSF along the Indo-Pak border, it has become increasingly difficult for drug traffickers to push heroin into India.
Hence, they have been attempting to traffic it into India via Africa.
The heroin from South Western Asia is trafficked into African countries like South Africa from where it is again trafficked to India by air by carriers.
‘This route was explored by Drug Trafficking Organisations because Africa has not been a traditional source of heroin trafficking into India and there are a large number of Africans involved in drug trafficking in India.
However, detecting this trend early, NCB has put early identification and interdiction mechanisms in place,’ the release added.