Air Inida denies police from opening suspected drug consignment

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IMPHAL, September 7: A suspected consignment of pseudo-ephedrine which was sent by air cargo from New Delhi by smugglers has been denied from verification by an Air India station manager.

A team of the Special Intelligence Unit (SIU) led by Inspector K Ranjit received specific information in the morning that around 11 am, a drug consignment was being sent through an Air India flight.

After the aircraft landed at Tulihal, the SIU team rushed to the Airport and pointed out three parcels having consignment number 00128844/03IMP and addressed to as “IMPHAL” only.

A team of the Special Intelligence Unit (SIU) led by Inspector K Ranjit seals the suspected consignment of pseudo-ephedrine which was sent by air cargo from New Delhi.

The airport authorities present there suggested the SIU team to check the parcel at the Air India head office located at MG Avenue, Thangal Bazar and loaded the parcels in their office van.

Later, after arriving at the office, K Ranjit gave a written application to the flight authorities to permit the SIU team to check the parcels presumed to be containing the said contraband.

A staff identified as Md Kalam told the sleuths that the authorizing Station Manager was unavailable at the time and denied the verification on the grounds.

There was some heated deliberation among the flight officials and the SIU team in the regard.

Later, the Station Manager, Panganbam Nilakamal who is also the State’s first Olympian was telephonically communicated by the Air India employees and K Ranjit mentioned to him of informing about the issue to his superior police officers if the verification was refused.

Later, the station manager came to the city office and after had a heated exchange with the SIU officials. Still they failed to arrive to an understanding. Nilakamal told the Inspector that if he had adequate proof of the parcel containing drugs, then the SIU team could seize it. Inspector Ranjit also retorted that there is specific information received of the drug consignment and the SIU team will inspect the parcels. If the material contained is ordinary then there would be no seizure but if there are drugs then, it would be confiscated.

Nilakamal mentioned that the consignment may contain material belonging toVIPs and as such cannot risk opening the parcels, and he would be held accountable if anything is found missing from the consignment.

The station manager remained adamant but permitted the SIU team to seal up the consignment at the Air India office. Despite repeated appeals, the parcels were stored inside the store room of the Air India office.

It may be mentioned that the SIU on repeated occasions have raided the cargo parcels at the Airport and seized drug consignments worth in crores. Sources stated that there are two individuals involved in the drug cartel who enjoys political patronage.

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