The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India has arrested two Nigerians for allegedly smuggling Benga, a banned substance.
The two Nigerians were identified as B. Onovo and C. Okwor.
The Nigerians were the masterminds of an international drug syndicate. Also fingered as members of the crime syndicate are two young practicing female boxers. Specifically, the boxers were identified as Shukla from Madhya Pradesh and Maria who hails from Kerala. Both were said to reside in Bengaluru and were earlier associated with the Sports Authority of India.
The arrest was executed by the zonal unit of the NCB in Bengaluru, the New Indian Express reports.
Pseudoephedrine, is a controlled substance under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 of India. The drug, a performance-enhancing stimulant, is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Amit Ghawate, NCB, Bengaluru Zonal Director disclosed that the seized parcels were destined for South Africa.
“The two boxers D Shukla and G Maria both 21, have been associated with the two Nigerians B Onovo and C Okwor over alleged smuggling of pseudoephedrine for more than a year now. The four have been arrested under the NDPS Act.
‘‘On credible inputs, the NCB on November 11 seized 6.870 kg of pseudoephedrine from two parcels at Amruthahalli worth around Rs 20 lakh. The contraband was concealed in baby bags.
“The parcels were meant for two consignees in South Africa. On November 18, the NCB apprehended Shukla and Maria. We later arrested Onovo and Okwor, who are the mastermind behind the ring.’’
Reports indicate that authorities in India had previously busted drug trafficking rackets involving ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.
“They have a huge market in South East Asia and South Africa,” the NCB had stated.
Pseudoephedrine is a precursor drug and is legally used to manufacture pharmacological products against flu and allergies. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are diverted for the illegal manufacture of various drugs and psychotropic substances.