KOCHI: A Maldives national was held at the Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery with 3. 120 kg of hashish on Tuesday. It is estimated that the haul is worth around `10 crore in the international market. The arrested Mohammed Sobah, 32, of GA Vilingili, Maldives is suspected of being a part of a drug cartel operating in the West Asian countries.
Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar said the accused who was to depart on Indigo 1787 flight to Male was deplaned on the suspicion that drugs were concealed in the check-in baggage. “While screening the checked-in bags, security unit suspected drugs were concealed in them. The customs officers were called in by the Cochin airport authorities which initially used its dog squad to sniff out the drugs inside the baggage. Later, during physical checking of the baggage, hashish covered using plastic was found concealed inside a false cavity made in the bag.”
The passport revealed that Mohammed Sobah arrived in Kochi three days ago. He planned to divert the hashish to Bahrain from the Maldives. Since a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) case was registered, the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) will be conducting the further probe. “We have referred the matter to NCB to conduct an investigation.
The source of the hashish has to be identified. Whether he has received it from Kerala or other state has to be checked. From the initial interrogation, we suspect that accused is part of a drug cartel which supplies banned narcotic products to Middle-east countries. Since NCB has expertise in drug-related cases, the agency will conduct the investigation and file report at the concerned court,”he said. The seized hashish was handed over to Customs laboratories to examine it further.