The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has detected a novel modus operandi of smuggling of narcotics (Cocaine) into India via the courier route, wherein the cocaine was concealed within the thermocol balls, puportedly used to cushion the declared goods.
Based on specific intelligence developed by DRI, an import courier consignment was intercepted and examined by the DRI officers at New Courier Terminal, New Delhi, which resulted in the recovery of 1922 gm of Cocaine, having illicit international market value of Rs 26.5 crore (approx).
The courier consignment arrived in two boxes from Sao Paulo, Brazil and was declared to contain “Table Center (decorative object)”. Prima facie examination of the consignment revealed that the two boxes contained one crystal glassware decorative bowl each, along with thousands of thermocol balls of around two cm diameter, to cushion the glassware against any damage.
A careful examination of the thermocol balls, however, suggested that some of the balls were slightly heavier (1-2 gm only) than the rest. Accordingly, as per the weight, heavier thermocol balls were segregated, which were around 10% of the total thermocol balls. The 972 heavier thermocol balls, on being cut open, were found to conceal smaller balls of white powder, covered by transparent extra thin polythene.
Box containing Crystal Glass bowl covered in thermocol balls
Balls of Cocaine, covered by thin transparent polythene, concealed inside thermocol balls
Extraction of Cocaine from the balls
The said white-colored powder tested positive for Cocaine. Resultantly, in total 1922 gm of Cocaine has been recovered and seized under the NDPS Act, 1985.