Lucknow, Aug 25 : In the biggest ever drug haul in Uttar Pradesh, Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seized 3.125 kg of cocaine from the Indo-Nepal border at 9 pm on Tuesday. A 41-year-old woman from Manipur, who could easily pass off as a Nepali, Rose Kashung was bringing in contraband via Sonauli border in Maharajganj district via Maitri bus service which connects Kathmandu and Varanasi.
A Nigerian man active in Delhi identified as Ogbnaya Godswill was using the woman as courier. SSB Lucknow Frontier, Inspector General VH Deshmukh said the narcotics were smuggled to Nepal from either Costa Rica or Panama. “Ogbnaya is on the run and seems to be the kingpin. He is using women from North East as carriers as their physical features resemble those of Nepali women,” said Deshmukh.
Within two hours of the crackdown in eastern UP, the wider drug syndicate was busted with arrest of another Manipuri woman K Moi from Safdargunj in Delhi.
On grilling the two separately, sleuths got the name of Ogbnaya whose last movement was traced to Mumbai. “These are no small fries… such recovery takes place rarely,” said Deshmukh.
During interrogation, the team found Kashung reached Kathmandu via bus on August 21 and stayed at Kathmandu City Hotel. Next day, a man delivered two packets to her. She had confessed to have carried the drug haul on two occasions within the last seven months for Rs 50,000.
Kashung kept the contraband well-concealed and wrapped them in multiple layers of carbon papers and newspapers. Smugglers often use carbon paper as X-ray machines often fail see through them. However the white powder she was carrying was unearthed and tested positive for cocaine during preliminary test at the spot. “It is worth over Rs 15 crore,” added Deshmukh.
SSB guards 489 kilometre long border between Uttar Pradesh and Nepal and has 125 checking posts out of which 65 are located in dense forest. As it is a friendly border, no passport is required to cross over to the other side. Smuggling is done usually through three popular trade routes- Sunaouli (Maharajganj district), Rupai-diha (Bahraich district) and Barhani Bazar.