Ephedrine seized from airport
TRICHY: Air intelligence wing at the Trichy airport on Wednesday, seized 4.8 kg of ephedrine, an odourless party drug, concealed amid grocery packets in the luggage of a woman who was deported from Malaysia last week. On March 19, the woman, Rukmini, flew to Kuala Lumpur on an Air Asia flight on a visit visa but was not allowed into Malaysia for "some technical reason." She was kept in Malaysian immigration custody for a couple of days and then sent back to India. Rukmini landed in Trichy on March 21 sans her baggage which ultimately landed in another flight on Wednesday morning. To the question of how the contraband, whose international value would be about Rs 8 crore, was not initially detected by the Trichy customs on the day of Rukmini's departure, senior superintendent (air intelligence) Ernest Ravi said, "It is possible that the contraband concealed within edible flour packets, was not easily detected." But the question remained as to how the strict Malaysian immigration also did not detect the drug before it was sent back to Trichy. When Rukmini was deported to Trichy, she might not have known that her baggage was not travelling with her, as she made a complaint with the airline about the missing baggage, an immigration officer said. Rukmini told officials at the Trichy airport that she was deported as her sponsor in Malaysia did not come to receive her. She also claimed that she was a former national weight-lifting champion, hailing from Sivaganga district.
Another superintendent of air intelligence wing, J Raja told TOI that Rukmini, a poor and desperate woman, might or might not have known about the contraband inside her baggage. She told the officials that she wanted to work in a restaurant in Malaysia and the sponsors conditioned her to carry the parcel as a quid pro quo. It was her third visit to Malaysia on a visit visa, she added. After the contraband baggage was offloaded on Wednesday, an unsuspecting Rukmini was informed. When she came to receive her baggage, she was detained. On the basis of information provided by her, one Rahman from Chennai was arrested by the air intelligence officials. Immigration sleuths are waiting for one more accomplice who would perhaps spill the beans about the machinations of the illegal network, said Raja. Interestingly, the first tip off about the hidden ephedrine in Rukmini's baggage was given by a mysterious Malaysian to the Sivaganga SP office and the Trichy air intelligence wing was alerted. Rukmini along with her accomplice Rahman would be produced before the magistrate on Thursday.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 449378.cms