Man nabbed with Viagra pills worth Rs 30L at airport


Mid-Day, 26-01-2013 05:13:15


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A team from the Air Intelligence Unit were keeping an eye on the carrier for the last three months and nabbed him when he crossed the green channel on Thursday

 

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Travelling to Mumbai cost a city-based frequent flier, and a member of a smuggling gang, heavily after he was nabbed by a team of Air Intelligence Unit at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport for smuggling 4,500 Viagra tablets on Thursday evening. The cost of the recovered tablets has been pegged at roughly Rs 30 lakh.

According to an AIU official, the 35-year-old passenger (name withheld on request) landed at Mumbai’s International Airport by a Jet Airways flight from Dubai. Following a tip off, the officials kept an eye on the passenger, who, instead of declaring the goods, tried to cross the green channel.

The officials asked to check his luggage and found the Viagra tablets. “Assistant Commissioner of Customs Samir Wankhede had prior information regarding the passenger. We formed a plan and had an eye on him for three months. He travelled twice from Dubai to Goa and back in a day. Sure of his intentions after monitoring him for such a long time, we caught him as soon as he crossed the green channel,” said an AIU officer.

According to sources, the passenger is Mumbai-based and is the only carrier for the smuggling group. His was to handover the tablets to an unknown person outside the airport. The passenger was paid Rs 2,000 for a trip. His travel tickets, food and other needs were also taken care of.

Rs 7.5 cr drugs seized
In another crackdown, AIU officials seized 50 kilograms of Methaqualone drugs at the international airport. Methaqualone, brand name Quaaludes, is a sedative-hypnotic drug that is similar in effect to barbiturates, a general central nervous system depressant.

Acting on a tip off, some AIU officials checked a consignment booked for London at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport. They found Methaqualone drugs packed in 50 packets of rice, atta, tea and upma. The market value of drugs is Rs 7.5 crore.

The officials are interrogating an Andheri-based courier company owner who had booked the consignment for London. Indian researchers first came across the drug in the 1950s, which is basically found in North India and smuggled to London via Mumbai.

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