Kenyan woman arrested with 2.6Kg of cocaine in India

At Kempegowda International Airport in India, a Kenyan woman was detained for smuggling 2.6 kilograms of cocaine, which is estimated to be worth Sh13 million.

According to officials, the drugs were hidden beneath the suitcase’s fake bottom.

A kilogram of cocaine is estimated to be worth between Sh4 and Sh5 million in Kenya, but police say that on the international market, it can fetch up to Sh12 million.

The 36-year-old was detained by local police from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Bengaluru unit before she could board her flight on Monday, January 15, according to Indian media.

A probe is underway to ascertain the source and the destination of the smuggled drug.

Local authorities said outward smuggling of cocaine, said to be the first from Bengaluru on a domestic flight, was busted earlier in the week after a specific tip-off.

Two pouches contain- ing 2.6kg of cocaine were found in the false bottom of the woman’s suitcase at Bengaluru airport
Two pouches contain- ing 2.6kg of cocaine were found in the false bottom of the woman’s suitcase at Bengaluru airport

The investigators reached the airport on Makara Sankranti morning and combed the departure bay of terminal 1 and soon intercepted the Kenyan passport-holder who was waiting to board an IndiGo flight to Delhi.

The single-piece luggage the Kenyan had checked was recalled by officials.

A thorough examination of the suitcase revealed that it had a false bottom the investigators cut it open to unearth two large pouches sealed with brown duct tape.

Slicing it open revealed white powder, which a lab test later established as the purest form of cocaine weighing 2.6 kg.

The woman was to hand over the drug to peddlers in the national capital, airport officials said.

Interrogation of the woman revealed that she had come to India in August 2023 on a tourist visa and resided in Mumbai before reaching Bengaluru this year.

The DRI team booked her under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and produced her before a magistrate.

She was remanded in judicial custody and sent to Bengaluru Central Prison Monday night.

The probe revealed she had come to Bengaluru on the pretext of textile trade but is suspected to have sourced the cocaine from her links in the city.

The substance is believed to be of South American origin.

Throughout 2023, several Kenyans were arrested in drug-related cases abroad.

For example, in December a Kenyan woman passenger was arrested at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport for allegedly smuggling cocaine.

She was intercepted carrying 1.4 kilos of cocaine valued at approximately Sh8 million, officials reported.

In June, Indian authorities detained a Kenyan woman at the New Delhi airport for smuggling 2.5 kilograms of cocaine from Addis Ababa, concealed in whisky bottles.

On September 24, a Kenyan car dealer was arrested in Sri Lanka, at the Bandaranaike International Airport with 4 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated worth of Sh24 million.

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