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From Addis Ababa to Delhi: How Customs Foiled a Rs 22 Crore Cocaine Smuggling Attempt

Customs at IGI Airport seized 1,472 grams of cocaine valued at Rs 22.09 crore from a Cameroonian passenger arriving from Addis Ababa. Arrested under NDPS Act, 1985, investigation ongoing.



Customs Seize Rs 22.09 Crore Worth Cocaine at IGI Airport
Customs Seize Rs 22.09 Crore Worth Cocaine at IGI Airport

NEW DELHI: Customs officials at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) have seized 1,472 grams of cocaine valued at Rs 22.09 crore. The contraband was intercepted from a Cameroonian national who had arrived from Addis Ababa on June 28, 2024.

Detailed Operation and Arrest

Acting on specific intelligence, customs officers at IGI Airport conducted a meticulous search of the passenger,  Ajoku Respect Nwala, upon his arrival. The search took place both in the international transit area and after the passenger had cleared immigration. The officers’ diligence paid off when they discovered 70 capsules containing a white powdery substance hidden in his luggage and on his person.

Confirmation and Legal Actions

Subsequent diagnostic tests confirmed that the substance was indeed cocaine. The seized narcotics have an estimated street value of Rs 22.09 crore Nwala, born on December 12, 1972, was immediately taken into custody and charged under Section 43(B) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. This section pertains to the possession, purchase, and transportation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

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Official Statement

Joint Commissioner of Customs at IGI Airport, Varun N Koundinya, praised the swift action and thorough investigation conducted by the customs officers. “Based on the intelligence, the preventive measures undertaken by our officers have successfully thwarted an attempt to smuggle a significant quantity of cocaine into the country. Further investigation into the matter is currently underway,” he stated.

Ongoing Investigations

The investigation is focused on uncovering the broader network behind this smuggling attempt. Authorities are looking into potential connections and accomplices both within India and internationally. The arrest of Mr. Nwala marks a significant step in the fight against international drug trafficking, reinforcing the vigilance and dedication of customs officials in protecting the nation’s borders from illegal activities.

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Impact and Significance

This seizure underscores the importance of intelligence-led operations and the effective coordination among various enforcement agencies. It serves as a stern warning to potential traffickers about the stringent measures and robust surveillance systems in place at Indian airports.

Stay Informed

For further updates on this case and more news on customs operations, stay tuned to our coverage. Follow us for the latest developments in law enforcement and security measures aimed at combating drug trafficking and other illegal activities.


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