Massive cocaine bust at Kochi airport: Drug was for Kerala film stars, say police

Officials say they tracked the local links after making a detailed forensic inspection of the Filipino woman’s mobile phone and call records.
Massive cocaine bust at Kochi airport: Drug was for Kerala film stars, say police
Massive cocaine bust at Kochi airport: Drug was for Kerala film stars, say police
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Weeks after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seized cocaine worth 25 crores from a Filipino woman at Kochi airport, officials say they have now confirmed that the nose candy was for the Kerala film industry.

The officials had seized about 4.5 kg of cocaine from the Filipino woman at Kochi airport on January 1st, 2018. The officers also confirmed that they have been able to identify the local link which carries out activities for an international drug cartel based out of Brazil.

An NCB official said, “One Ben Korachi is controlling the drug cartel being operated from Sao Paulo. The Filipino woman Jhonna De Torres, 36, was among four carriers used to smuggle in drugs to the region. She was scheduled to stay at a luxury hotel in Kochi till January 3 when the local agents were supposed to meet her and take possession of the consignment. The probe is now focused on the two persons based in northern Kerala,” reports Deccan Chronicle.

The Filipino woman was travelling from Sao Paulo to Adis Ababa, and from there to Kochi via Muscat. The 4.5 kgs of cocaine was found in her check-in baggage.

Meanwhile, the police officials also told media that initially the lady was suspected of facilitating the cocaine to Goa or other places, but it was in further interrogation and checking her phone records that the officials came to a different conclusion.

“During interrogation, we understood that she had no clear idea as to where the consignment was originally destined for. She was merely a carrier. The detailed forensic inspection of her mobile phone and call records gave us vital information,” said an official.

The woman now under the custody of police officials was brought before the Ernakulam principal and sessions court on Friday.

Kochi has an ongoing war with drug peddlers looming around in the city and the officials have been making such related catches every now and then. Filipino woman’s incident was reported weeks after a Venezualan national was caught by the officials for carrying 1kg of cocaine in his stomach. On the eve of New Year, the city shadow police had arrested 15 men as part of the drive against drugs. Police officials reported that drugs like LSD stamps and MDMA were seized from the arrested.

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