Kochi: Kochi: A South African woman has been arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle out 14 kg of white powder – suspected to be ephedrine – worth Rs 22 crore at the international airport at Nedumbassery here.
Customs Commissioner K.N. Raghavan said officers of Air Intelligence Unit intercepted Dorcas Dolly at the departure wing of the airport last evening on suspicion that she had contraband drugs/psychotropic substances, conducted a detailed examination of her baggage and detected the drugs.
“The search resulted in the recovery and seizure of approximately 14 kg of Ephedrine cleverly concealed in ladies vanity bags found in her two checked-in baggage,” he said.
The woman, a native of South Africa, was attempting to depart to Malawi via Doha by a Jet Airways Flight.
The seized ephedrine, a controlled substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psycotropic Substances Act, 1985 is valued at about Rs 22 crore in the international market, Raghavan said.
Customs officials said further investigation is in progress to find out whether she was part of a racket involved in smuggling drugs out of the country.
In a report filed before the Kerala High Court in March this year, the state government had said that the global drug mafia was making Kochi, the bustling business centre of the state, a hub for their activities.
Ephedrine, which is used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, is used as a means of intoxication too. The drug was found following a tip-off.