Every year, thousands of kilograms of illegal drugs are seized across the country, driven by the demand of millions of users. At every step, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) intercept transactions and combat the drug menace.
However, traffickers of late have developed a variety of inventive ways to obscure their cargos. “We have noticed an increased number of cases where peddlers use bizarre methods to hide drugs. For instance, last year, we identified 25 kilograms of ‘Ephedrine’ concealed in between office files,” said Shivaprakash Baddi, Deputy Commissioner, Customs.
Concealing contraband within human bodies or in a gunny bags are no more the only methods at the disposal of drug peddlers. “About five to six months ago, we busted a racket in which a lady had hid illegal stuff in a bag mixed with insecticides and pesticides in Coimbatore,” a custom official said.
Here is a list of the distinct ways in which traffickers have attempted to smuggle drugs:
Marijuana Beneath LPG Cylinders
The Bengaluru city police seized two LPG cylinders filled with marijuana on December 11, 2017. Police sources said that peddlers had cut the bottom of the cylinders and replaced it with a metal sheet. The mechanism was such that the sheet could be opened easily and filled with contraband.
Illegal Gold Retrieved From a Waist Belt
Illegal gold was recovered from a female passenger’s waist belt in Bengaluru. The gold was found wrapped within a cloth belt, concealed in a plastic cover. On 28 November, 2017, 1.2 kilograms of gold was extracted from the red colored mixture within the belt.
Cocaine Affixed To a Pack of Headphones
A woman was caught with 200 grams of cocaine on 30 May 2017, packed in the form of tiny capsules at the Cantonment Railway Station in Bengaluru. The material was affixed to the bottom of a pack of brand new headphones.
‘Ephedrine’ Concealed in Lunch Bags
The NCB team seized 10 kilograms of ‘Ephedrine’ on 25 May 2017, tucked on the sides of a lunch bag and in turn placed in the check-in baggage at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru. The consignment was destined to Kuala-Lumpur and was sourced from Chennai.
Drugs Concealed in Decorative Clothing
The NCB team identified 11.82 kilograms of ‘Ephedrine’ on 28 March 2017, hidden within cardboards meant for decorative clothing. Intricate cavities were drilled within the card boards to stuff the drugs.
Contraband Found in the Petrol Tank
On 21 January 2017, the NCB seized 2 kilograms of charas from a cavity, specially built in the petrol tank of a car. The peddlers were trying to smuggle the contraband from Pathankot to Jalandhar in Punjab.
Hash Oil in Tea Packets
On 16 November 2016, the NCB seized Hash oil hidden inside tea packets at a courier company in Bengaluru. The drug which was supposed to get to Maldives was found to be concealed within 10 tea packets.
'Charas' Concealed With Green Peas
On 14 October 2016, 3.9 kilograms of charas was found tucked away in gunny bags containing green peas. The stuff was sourced from Chamba, Himachal Pradesh and was destined to get to Punjab.