3 held with Rs 25-crore heroin in Delhi

Two Afghan nationals and a Nigerian national have been arrested for allegedly smuggling heroin worth Rs 25 crore in south Delhi, police said on Saturday.

Acting on a tip-off, a trap was laid at the exit gate of a hospital in Saket on Tuesday, where the two Afghan nationals -- Esmatullah (40) and Khalilullah (22) -- had come to deliver a consignment to a Nigerian national named Osondu at around 1 am, said PS Kushwah, deputy commissioner of police (special cell).

Subsequently, the three accused were arrested while they were handing over the consignment, along with five-kg heroin and 4,200 US dollars from their possession, Kushwah said.

During interrogation, the accused revealed that they had been smuggling heroin in Delhi and adjoining states for the last three years. Esmatullah and Khalilullah used to bring heroin from Afghanistan, and hand over the consignment to Nigerian nationals, one of them was Osondu, the DCP said.

The two accused said they used to bring consignments in their stomach by swallowing heroin-filled capsules and sometimes carried them in secret cavities of their bags by air, the senior officer said.

The two Afghan nationals have already supplied more than 100 kg of heroin in Delhi in the last two years and had brought in 15-kg heroin last time. They have been visiting India frequently on a medical visa, Kushwah said.

Osondu told the police that he used to get consignments from the two Afghan nationals. He further supplied the drug to other countries, including Canada, England, France and South Africa through courier companies, the officer said.

He arrived in India in 2014 on a business visa for a period of six months, but did not return to his country even after the stipulated time. Osondu was lured by another Nigerian national for smuggling and he acted as his drug carrier for six months. Eventually he developed his own network and started smuggling heroin independently, the officer added.