Indian police nab Tanzanian mule with $156,000 heroine

18Feb 2018
Crispin Gerald
Guardian On Sunday
Indian police nab Tanzanian mule with $156,000 heroine

DRUG Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) Commissioner General Rogers Sianga on Friday confirmed the arrest of a Tanzanian in India with 4.8kg of heroine with a street value of $156,000.

The Tanzanian, who was later named as Brayton N Lyimo, a native of Arusha, was nabbed at New Delhi International Airport.

However, Siaga said Lyimo did not pass through the Dar es slaam airport with the illegal drug consignment but that he left at the airport clean and went and obtained the drugs in Ethiopia where he launched his trip to India.

He said his authority had received information from India’s NCB and were currently in talks with Indian authorities about the matter.

The anti-drug control czar told the Guardian on the telephone that loose inspection at Addis Ababa airport made it possible for the Tanzanian national to fly out to India with the drug consignment.

“The challenge present is that the Drug Enforcement Act 2017 is not applicable in Zanzibar but on the mainland only, thus weakening its power to control drugs in the Isles,” he replied upon being asked how his office collaborated with the isles in combating drug trafficking.

He said the Isles had its own autonomous commission to control drugs.

According to sources from India, the arrest of Lyimo was made possible following intelligence reports about an international drug cartel involving African nationals.

The narcotics control bureau officials expected the man to disclose clues that may help them nab other members of the cartel.

The 31-year-old Lyimo is alleged to have smuggled heroin worth $156,000 before being apprehended by the agency at Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday night after he arrived there from Mumbai.

Lyimo had reportedly arrived in Mumbai from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on Tuesday and then travelled to Delhi.

He was carrying 4.8 kg of heroin in his check-in baggage. Primary investigations suggested that Lyimo had taken the contraband from a person in Tanzania who had asked him to hand it over to a Nigerian national living in Delhi.

Delhi's Indira Gandhi international Airport is the most commonly used airport by drug smugglers and official data suggests that it accounts for nearly half of all drug busts at Indian airports.

Last year, a total of 47 drug smuggling cases were detected at airports across the country, out of which 22 were in Delhi, the NCB data shows.