The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has busted an international racket of drug smuggling. In an elaborate operation codenamed ‘Operation Calypso’ spread out over 3 days, DRI seized 504 grams of cocaine ingeniously concealed in a steam press iron sent by courier from Trinidad & Tobago to Mumbai.
DRI Mumbai received an intelligence input from a reliable source about cocaine, the most sought after illicit drug in high society circles, being smuggled to Mumbai, concealed in a package of steam iron originating in Trinidad & Tobago. DRI Officers immediately swung into action and as expected, during prior verification by DRI Officers, the address declared on the courier packet appeared suspicious, thereby suggesting that challenge will come during intercepting the Indian recipients of the contraband. DRI first intercepted the consignment and ascertained the presence of cocaine. Thereafter, DRI officers kept discreet watch and when a lady came to take delivery of the consignment on 17th November evening, she was apprehended by the DRI team. After a brief but intense grilling of the intercepted lady, DRI came to know that the package containing the contraband was to be delivered to an African national based in Navi Mumbai. Teams were quickly formed and dispatched to the predetermined delivery area in Navi Mumbai and the lady was taken with the team. To make the delivery appear more realistic, the services of an app-based taxi were also availed. The teams lay in wait for nearly an hour after which one African national approached the taxi in which the lady was waiting with the consignment. When he attempted to take the parcel, he was immediately overpowered by DRI officers hanging around incognito. An accomplice of the African national was waiting nearby in an auto to escape with the contraband consignment. On seeing his accomplice nabbed, the other African national immediately fled in the auto. DRI officers too set off in hot pursuit and when his auto was about to be intercepted, the African national jumped off the moving auto and began running. However, after a dramatic chase of almost a Kilometre on foot, auto and car across a busily populated suburb of Mumbai, the accomplice African national was also nabbed. During the course of the operation, the role of another Mumbai-based woman in the drug smuggling racket was uncovered. Sources confirmed that this woman was currently holidaying in Udaipur. Another DRI team from Ahmedabad Unit was swiftly assembled and it reached Udaipur in the dead of the night. The DRI team was able to zero in on the exact location of the woman in Udaipur after some smart legwork in the field. They kept watch over the hotel whole night and in the morning of 18th November, with the assistance of Udaipur Police the woman was apprehended. She was then arrested by DRI and with Magisterial permission, she was brought to Mumbai on transit remand yesterday night. It then also came to light that this woman was a history-sheeter who was arrested by Mumbai police only last year. Interestingly, the lady who had come to collect the parcel from the courier company also has a criminal background and both ladies had networked while they were in jail last year.
A total of 4 individuals including 2 Indian women and 2 African nationals have been arrested in this case so far. Investigations till now have revealed that this syndicate had cleared multiple consignments of cocaine in the past and the total quantity of cocaine smuggled by the same modus operandi was over 3.3 Kgs since August 2020 itself, having a market value of over Rs. 20 Crores. This Operation being carried out by DRI has thrown up a sophisticated cartel of international drug smugglers.
The immaculately executed ‘Operation Calypso’ has once again shown DRI’s commitment to fighting international drug cartels and ability to plan and execute complex operations, all while strictly adhering to the letter and spirit of the law.