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India fast emerging as a transit country for international drug cartel

By Amitava

The arrest of a Bolivian woman from the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, along with a contraband consignment of cocaine has raised questions as to whether an international contraband drug route is operational through India.

Acting on a tip off sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau intercepted a Bolivian national from the International Airport in Kolkata.

India fast emerging as a transit country for international drug cartel

From a secret compartment located below her suitcase 2kg of cocaine was recovered. The worth of the contraband in the international black market is to the tune of Rs. 14 Crores.

According to a senior officer of NCB, the accused Saucedo Chao Yenny (45) had arrived at Kolkata from Sao Paolo, Brazil via Dubai on Wednesday. The woman is being interrogated by the NCB with a probe having been initiated.

A Spanish interpreter has been engaged to help with the interrogation. NCB sleuths feel that the woman was supposed to pass the consignment to her contact persons in the city.

From Kolkata, the consignment would be taken to other parts of the country or even to foreign shores.

In the past also there have been arrests of Bolivian nationals carrying drugs from Kolkata giving rise to fears of India becoming part of an international drug cartel.

On March 13 Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had arrested a Bolivian national Sergio Jie Zhang Salazar with 2.8kg of fine quality cocaine from Delhi.

He had admitted to working for a Bolivia-based gang and had visited Bangladesh in October 2016 to deliver a consignment of cocaine. That was the 5th seizure by the NCB within two months.

On May 16 the NCB had arrested six women, four of them foreigners and unearthed a Rs. 20 crore international drug racket in New Delhi.

The arrested included two women from Nigeria and one each from Spain and Bolivia. The other two arrested were from North East India. The racket involved smuggling of cocaine and amphetamine.

Interestingly in September, US President Donald Trump had earmarked India along with 21 other countries as among the major illicit drug producing or transit nations.

In addition to India, other south Asian countries identified as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries are Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar.

Other countries in the list are The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

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