A 27-year-old Venezuelan woman arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) under suspicion of drug trafficking says she was sponsored by a Nigerian drug supplier based in Brazil.
Eighty capsules containing cocaine worth nearly ₹5 crore were recovered from her.
The accused woman has been charged under sections relevant sections of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
On August 9, the DRI detained Balzabaptista Karendarlenny after she arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Sao Paulo in Brazil (via Addis Ababa).
Sources in the DRI said they had specific information on
Karendarlenny. Having secured the court’s permission, the DRI took Karendarlenny to Sir JJ Hospital where x-rays confirmed alien objects in her body.
Between August 9 and 13, Karendarlenny has purged 80 capsules containing 800 grams of high-quality cocaine, the estimated value of which is ₹5 crore.
Since the accused speaks only Spanish, DRI officers, with the help of an interpreter, have interrogated her and learnt that in the past, she had been in the military for two years (in Venezuela, two-year military service is obligatory for all those above 18).
She also worked at a call centre and had been forced into sex work due to financial difficulties.
The accused has told officials that in 2014, she came in contact with a Nigerian drug supplier through another sex worker.
This supplier used mules – people who carry drugs in exchange for money – to transport drugs to countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
According to the accused, the supplier contacted her in February through Facebook and offered her a job as a drug courier, reports Hindustan Times.
She accepted his offer as she was in need of money and a few months ago, she moved to Sao Paulo, in Brazil, from where the Nigerian was running his operations.
For one smuggling trip, the woman would be paid $5,000 (₹3.5 lakh), upon returning to Brazil.
Officers are now trying to get information on her associates and to whom she was to deliver the drugs in Mumbai.