The customs officials at Mumbai airport held a 28-year-old man from Chennai for trying to smuggle 5kg of methaqualone, a banned party drug, worth Rs75 lakh to Malaysia.
The accused has been identified as Nityanandan Sunderam.
Sunderam was caught smuggling the drugs at around 11pm on Sunday, when he was on his way to Kuala Lumpur in a Malaysian Airways flight. He was stopped for baggage checking after the officials got suspicious. The accused had hidden drugs in three folded doormats.
For smuggling the drugs from one country to the other, Sunderam was getting paid 1,500 ringgit (Malaysian currency) and being provided with free air tickets and stay for four days. The accused works as a driver in Kuwait. “He doesn’t look like someone who carries drugs regularly, and this was his first trip to Malaysia,” said a customs officer from the airport.
The accused was arrested and has been booked under stringent sections of the NDPS Act.
According to the customs department, the drugs were being sent abroad following the increasing demand for party drugs in the market as new year celebrations are nearing. “The drug mafia is using carriers from other states because if they are from Mumbai, there are higher chances of them being recognised by us,” said a customs official.