|200 kg cocaine haul in
Sunday, June 04, 2006
MUMBAI: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seized about 200 kilogramís of cocaine in a consignment of eight containers at JNPT.
It is the largest ever haul of coke in the country. Intelligence about the containers, which arrived from Hong Kong on Saturday, was received by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and NCB around the same time.
The cocaine, worth over Rs 100 crore, was found in only one of the containers, though the lot of eight containers was for the same consignee.
In the international market, it would be valued at Rs 200 crore. The containers were carrying wooden logs under which the narcotic lay hidden in bags.
Sources said NCB officers boarded the vessel, S L Voyager, while it was still at sea. The consignment was marked to the Mulund Container Freight Station (CFS).
The modus operandi of the smugglers was to have offloaded it at Nhava Sheva (JNPT) port but not get it cleared from Customs there.
It would have been transported by road to Mulund CFS where Customs clearance would take place. En route, the gang's operatives would have opened the container to replace the contraband with harmless cargo.
Such gangs are known to operate in Mumbai and use sophisticated technology to break open Customs' seals and replace them.
The use of such a modus operandi has been noticed in other cargo, but not in the cases of narcotics smuggling, at least not in the recent past.
That the smugglers should take such a huge risk has startled the authorities.
NCB officials were not available for comment. It was not known whether anyone has been arrested either.
Last year, a huge cache of revolvers and ammunition allegedly for the Chhota Rajan gang arrived in containers of industrial grease at the JNPT, and were seized by the DRI and Mumbai police.
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