Photo Credit: Asian News International/The Times of India
By Aaron Humes: Multiple Indian and international news sources have reported that earlier today local time in India, officials at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport seized nearly ten kilograms of suspected heroin from a Belizean national who arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa, via Doha, Qatar, according to The Times of India.
The drugs were concealed in a false bottom of a bag being carried by the so-far anonymous suspect, according to Asian News International (ANI).
The drugs, when weighed, amounted to 9.95 kilograms or nearly 22 pounds. The heroin has an estimated value of Rs 69.95 crore (699.5 million Indian rupees) or BZ$16.943 million.
Daiji World, citing the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), reported that a Customs official said that during the checking of his baggage, certain materials suspected to be narcotics were found to be secreted in the false bottom and top of the trolley bag.
“When this material was subjected to [a] diagnostic test, prima facie it appears to contain [a] commercial quantity of heroin. In view of the above, it is clear that the said passenger violated provisions of Section 8 of the NDPS [Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985] Act, and had committed an offense punishable under Sections 21, 23, and 29 of the Act,” the official said.
The Belizean was arrested while the white substance suspected to be heroin was seized along with the concealing material. The accused was produced before a court, where Customs officials said that he was not required for interrogation. Accordingly, it sent him to 14 days of judicial custody.
Drug use and trafficking are heavily frowned upon in Asian countries, where individuals have been handed long prison sentences and even faced death when caught smuggling drugs, sometimes unwittingly hidden in their suitcases and travel bags.