Rs 30 crore cocaine seized at Chennai airport from Indonesian man

This is the fourth incident in the last six months in Chennai airport. A total of Rs 100 crore worth of cocaine has been seized in these smuggling attempts.
Image of drug used for representational purpose only
Image of drug used for representational purpose only

CHENNAI: In one of the big drug seizures in recent times, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has arrested a 40-year-old Indonesian man at the Chennai international airport early on Monday for allegedly smuggling in 3.3 kg of high-grade cocaine worth approximately Rs 30 crore from Thailand, agency sources said.

This is the fourth incident in the last six months in Chennai airport. A total of Rs 100 crore worth of cocaine has been seized in these smuggling attempts.

Based on a specific intelligence, DRI officials tracked the passenger, Mohammed Antama Yasika, who arrived from Bangkok on the Thai Airways flight which landed at 12:15am on Monday. Sources said he had come on a tourist visa. As he gave evasive answers when questioned, his trolley bag was checked. Officials found that the cocaine packets were concealed in a false bottom specifically created for this purpose in the trolley bag.

A sample test confirmed that it was high-grade cocaine. He was immediately arrested. Investigations showed that he had sourced the drug from Vietnam and brought it to Thailand and then India.

Agency probing connection to a larger network of smugglers in ‘Golden Triangle’ region

The consignment was meant for distribution through local sources in Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country, including Delhi, sources added. The agency is investigating the connection to a larger network of smugglers in the ‘Golden Triangle’ region of Southeast Asian countries of Laos, Thailand and Vietnam who smuggle drugs into Chennai through the air mode.

The incident comes just a month after Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 3.5 kg of cocaine from an Indian passenger who arrived from Malaysia to Chennai on April 24. In February, Rs 27 crore worth of the drug was seized from an Indonesian native who had landed in Chennai from Laos via Singapore. Similarly, customs officials on April 23 had also seized 1 kg of cocaine from an Indian who had landed at the Chennai airport from Doha.

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