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Drug mules can dodge machines, not human intelligence: Police

Drug mules can dodge machines, not human intelligence: Police

New Delhi: The arrest of the two Afghan nationals with 2 kgs of heroin concealed in their stomach has once again proved that the most common modus operandi in drug smuggling remains 'Swallowing'.

The drug mules (carriers) often swallow heroin and cocaine-filled in tiny balloons with small quality of the drugs. A carrier has to swallow many dozens of such capsules which are later recovered from the faeces after administering laxatives.

The balloons may be made by multi-layered condoms, fingers of latex gloves and sometimes more sophisticated hollow pellets. An increasingly popular type of swallowing involves having the drug in the form of liquid-filled balloons or packages. These are impossible to detect unless the airport has high-sensitivity X-Ray equipment, as a liquid mixture of water and the drug will most likely not be detected using a standard X-Ray machine.

"Though, swallowing the drugs could dodge the scanners at the airports sometimes as the packing is hard enough not to let the vapours out making it hard for the machines to detect it. We have to constantly rely on human intelligence for segregating the suspect from the normal passenger," said a senior police officer.

However, ruptured packets inside the stomach can be fatal and often require treatment as for a drug overdose and may require admission to an intensive care unit.

Seventy-five capsules of cocaine were found inside the abdomen of a Bolivian national who died in Delhi last year . Salomon Edgar Vaca Arambel, 49, was intercepted by the customs officials at the Delhi International Airport after his arrival from Addis Ababa on April 27.

Also, in 2013, an Afgan national Niaz Mohammad also died allegedly due to cocaine capsule burst inside his stomach after he visited Delhi's Lajpat Nagar to visit a friend.

"Source-based intelligence still remains the most effective means to counter drug trafficking especially when the drug is hidden inside the stomach," said the officer.

Zafar Abbas

Zafar Abbas

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