Mumbai: In a major drug haul at Mumbai airport, two Indian passengers, including an engineer, have been arrested by customs authorities for allegedly conspiring to smuggle 12 kg of Methaqualone valued about Rs two crore to Kuala Lumpur.
The take-off of a Malaysian Airlines flight was aborted and one of accused D Gautamam (32) was deboarded and arrested while the other Ahmed Pasha (38) was intercepted at the customs checking counter, officials said on Monday.
The two were arrested at 11 PM yesterday and were allegedly found carrying six kg each of the drug in their hand baggage, they said.
"Both the passengers have come from Chennai and were on their way to Kuala Lumpur to sell the contraband," they said.
A team led by assistant customs commissioner Sameer Wankhede apprehended Pasha during the routine customs check before boarding.
"Apart from the drugs that were hidden in carefully stitched cavities in his handbag, we also found a domestic boarding pass in the name of Gautamam, which convinced us of another accomplice travelling in the flight.
"The flight was taxiing before take-off and Gautamam had already boarded it. We immediately sent a fax to the Air Traffic Control to ask the flight to abort the take-off and the plane was called back to the terminal, where we arrested Gautamam," a senior customs official.
During interrogation, it was revealed that while Pasha was a regular smuggler, Gautamam was an engineer with a reputed firm and was promised an amount of Rs 30,000 by Pasha. Both were immediately arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.