Drug smugglers take bus route to Bengaluru

BENGALURU: Smuggling of drugs into Bengaluru has seen a steady rise with racketeers choosing various modes to bring in the contraband to meet an escalating demand here. The latest method adopted by racketeers is to take the easy bus route to the city, mainly from Mumbai.

The past 15 days have seen seizure of large quantities of , ecstasy and , all brought by bus to Bengaluru. On Thursday evening, sleuths of the Bengaluru unit of (NCB) nabbed a 57-year-old Nigerian who disembarked from a semi-sleeper bus at Yeshwantpur. Inspection of his bag unearthed 13 top quality ecstasy tablets weighing a total of 4.2gm and worth Rs 3.2 lakh.

The smuggler, Oskar alias Osita Chinaka, had boarded the bus from Mumbai with the contraband and his target was dealers in Bengaluru. He was nabbed by NCB sleuths who were waiting for him following specific information o n the new method of drug smuggling.

“Drug peddlers have been travelling by buses in the recent times because investigating agencies rarely inspect bus passengers unless there’s a tipoff. It could be an easy escape for carriers unlike the air route,” said an investigating officer.

On August 1, Grace Joy, 35, a resident of Darjeeling, was caught when she got off a bus in with a bag containing three packets of noodles. Cocaine worth over Rs 1.2 crore and ketamine worth Rs 50,000 were hidden inside the packet.

“She was a masseuse at a spa and a resident of TC Palya. She had gone to Mumbai at the behest of some local drug gangs to procure the substance. Despite our best efforts, she did not give us information on her links,” said an officer. Investigators, however, have found some crucial Bengaluru links to the interstate smuggler gang and are probing further to bust the racket.

Apart from conventional smuggling via air route, drug dealers had also opted for couriers where drugs were hidden inside edible items and even books. In the wake of the crackdown on courier agencies accepting undeclared packages without proper sender details, the racketeers seemed to have found the bus route relatively safer and easier, with thousands of buses rolling into Bengaluru from other states every day.

Several bus boarding and disembarking points in Bengaluru are now under the scanner of anti-narcotics agencies.
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