The India police in the Navi Mumbai have listed Nigerian nationals as the biggest smugglers of drugs over the past five years.
According to sources from the anti-narcotic cell of the city, 66 cases where recorded in five years with Nigerians involved in 14 of the cases.
Also, India has arrested 14 foreign nationals for smuggling drugs into the city with Nigerians making up 13 of them and one from Ghana.
Just a week ago, the police arrested one Nigerian from Kopar Khairane who had come to sell mephedrone rock and powder.
On the issue of foreign nationals, several Bangladeshi were arrested for currency fraud, theft and other forms of crime but none for smuggling drugs.
Tushar Doshi who is the deputy commissioner of police said: “When it comes to drug smuggling by foreign nationals, by and large all the criminals are from Africa in general and from Nigeria in particular. The number of foreign nationals including those from Africa has also increased in the city over the past two years.”
He explained that they worked in networks and also in other cities. Maya More who is the police inspector from the anti-narcotic cell said: “These criminals collect their drugs from people in their networks and then smuggle those to different cities. The biggest problem faced while trying to get details about their business is the language issue. We cannot interrogate them properly after their arrests, as many of them cannot speak proper English or any Indian language.”
Amit Shellar who is the police sub-inspector from the anti-narcotic cell said: “Most of the Nigerians arrested for drug smuggling, had come to India on a business visa. Initially, they would export garments from Mumbai to their country. However, when their business would fail, they would trade drugs for easy money.”
An officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity added that “They initially target students from the affluent families and help in forming a habit of taking the drug. Once they create a good number of customers, they keep selling it to them.”
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