The customs department has seized 600 kg of psychotropic substance ‘Dry Chat’ under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, said an official statement issued on Tuesday.
The seized ‘Dry Chat’ is of a value worth approx 12 crore in the market.
According to the customs department, it is one of the biggest seizures of ‘Dry Chat’, held at the air cargo terminal of Delhi airport.
Three people, including two Somali refugees, have been nabbed in the case by the department.
“On the basis of intelligence, Delhi Customs (Air Cargo Import) has seized 600 kg of psychotropic substance “Dry Chat/Khat leaves” imported from Ethiopia valued at Rs 12 crore, imported in the guise of Green tea and also arrested three persons including two Somalians under NDPS Act, 1985,” tweeted Delhi Customs department.
As per the team of Air Cargo Commissionerate (ACC), the accused attempted to pose the three consignments of ‘Dry Chat’ as ‘Green Tea’.
The ACC sent the test samples to the Central Revenue Control Laboratory for examination and the samples were later reported positive.
Simultaneously, concerted efforts were made to apprehend the persons involved in the smuggling racket.
As a result, one F-card holder of a CHA firm and his associate were brought for questioning which led to the interception of a customs freight forwarder who appeared to be the main facilitator of the clearance of the said goods. However, his questioning further led to the disclosure of the details of two suspected foreign nationals involved in the import of the said goods from Ethiopia.
Thereafter, discreet plans were put in place to apprehend one of them, who was subsequently apprehended from South Delhi in well-executed operation by the officers of ACC Import.
On sustained interrogation, he divulged the information about the possible location of his associate.
Again discreet surveillance was mounted in the area and the second foreign national was also apprehended from a restaurant in the Hauz Rani area, New Delhi.
The two foreign nationals were Somalian refugee status holders and they admitted that they were aware that said ‘Dry Chat’ was a substance notified under NDPS Act, 1985.
Consequently, the 2 foreign nationals and one customs freight forwarder were arrested and produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate, and have been remanded to 14 days of judicial custody. (ANI)