HYDERABAD: African nationals, who were earlier involved in smuggling drugs in the city, were found to have been purchasing garments with their earnings and exporting the same to their native countries — instead of transferring currency.
The case of smuggling in question shows how they are flooding the Indian markets with goods from their native countries, which are otherwise prohibited from being imported into the country. It is suspected that more gangs are operating with the same modus operandi. In fact, some of the consignments could have been released from the airport as well, said officials.
Officials, who had previously investigated smuggling cases involving African nationals, said that they were in the city either on a student visa or business visa. They continued running drug-supply chains despite their visas expiring. They sourced drugs from cities like Bengaluru, Goa and Delhi and supplied these to clients in the city for higher prices. While a part of the earnings were invested in the drug business, a major portion of their earnings were invested in purchasing garments. They were exported to their native countries, where their families would be running garment stores.
This is the first time that DRI officials have found consumer goods, mostly food items, being undervalued and smuggled into the country. Officials also found that the persons involved were part of a nationwide network and supplied the goods in other metro cities in the country.
This seizure gives rise to a suspicion that some of the Africans involved in smuggling drugs in Hyderabad and other places have links with these smuggling chains. According to officials, there is a possibility that they have now converted their earnings into black money, instead of exporting garments. Their families back in their countries are sourcing food items and sending them back to India.