Seven Nigerians, one Burmese arrested for drug smuggling

Last Updated: Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 23:57

New Delhi: With the arrest of seven Nigerians and a Burmese woman, Delhi Police on Saturday claimed to have smashed an international cartel involved in drug and fake currency smuggling and which had got registered several companies using fake documents to channelise ill-gotten money.

The eight arrested, including a Nigerian pastor and his wife and the Burmese woman, were also allegedly involved in human trafficking and cheating people by luring them using emails.

Investigators recovered 1.450 kg of party drug methaquolone, 2.5 gram of cocaine, fake American dollars with face value of USD 10,000, Indian currency with face value of Rs 15,000, 19 passports, including one fake Indian Passport and seven Ghana blank passports, 15 mobile phones and 35 SIM cards among other articles.

The arrested have been identified as Olatide Morrison (55) and his wife Deborah (47), Burmese national Lal Chhan Chhuahi (29), Nelson (31), Chima Nakappa (29), Elozie (60), Steve (36) and Oliver (30), Sanjeev Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), said.

They were apprehended following investigations into an input provided by a central intelligence agency that a group consisting of foreigners was involved in trafficking of drugs in and out of India.

"It was also informed that this group has incorporated and got registered several companies in India on fictitious and bogus documents in order to facilitate transfer of money earned through drug trafficking," Yadav said.

During investigations, it came to light that on April six some members of this cartel would be sending parcels to one Antony Bastone and Patric Hart in Canada.

Teams were constituted to trace these parcels and located at the Foreign Post Office, Delhi. By requisitioning assistance from Delhi Customs and officials from Foreign Post Office, these parcels were checked and were found containing five sarees and two lehnghas and chunnies.

On close inspection, 253 grams of Psychotropic Drug Methaquolone was found concealed within the bottom margin of these clothes, neatly concealed in plastic packing, Yadav said.

Two days later another such shipment of 324 grams of
Methaquolone concealed at the bottom of bag containing children clothes was identified and seized from Foreign Post Office.

"These shipments had been consigned from fake addresses and on a fake passport copy by Chhuahi," Yadav claimed.

Investigators later found out that the cartel was primarily involved in drug trafficking into India and subsequent smuggling the same out of India. Instances of lottery fraud and dealing in fake currency notes were also noticed.

"This cartel had settled in India on the basis of registering companies on fake and fictitious documents. The companies so established were used to channelise money obtained through illegal means and to legalise the stay of the members," Yadav said.

The Nigerian couple Olatide Morrison and Deborah were living in India for the last 10 years. They allegedly opened two companies to manage flow of funds collected from drug and other illegal activities.

"He is on business visa but is doing missionary activities and using it as cover to meet and interact with the cartel. Nelson, Morrison`s close associate, has contacts with Pakistani drug suppliers," Yadav said.

Oliver and the Burmese woman had started living together for the last four months.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 23:57

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