Wilfried Amobi, a 47-year-old Nigerian, has been arrested in India for allegedly possessing cocaine worth $1.4m at a suburban railway station in Mumbai.
The Hindustan Times (HT), an Indian newspaper, said a team from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) caught him after a tip-off by a ticket checker.
According to Sanjay Jha, NCB zonal director, Mumbai and Goa region, Amobi was caught with a large quantity of the contraband.
“Wilfried said he was a tourist and as he wanted $200 to return home, he offered to smuggle the drug,” Jha told HT.
“The drugs weighing 1.3kg was to be delivered to someone in the city.
“The drugs were concealed in courier packets and were in his bag.
“As foreign nationals are asked to show passports even for domestic flights, couriers prefer trains.”
The agency said Amobi was one among the many couriers entrusted by a city-based cartel to smuggle the drugs into the city.
“We suspect that at least four people were involved. The packets changed hands at various railway stations to dodge authorities,” said Jha.
According to the anti-narcotic cell of Navi Mumbai police, a total of 66 narcotic related cases were registered between 2012 and April, this year in the city. Nigerian nationals were involved in 14 of these cases, the police said.
Since 2012, the police have arrested 14 foreign nationals for smuggling drugs to the city and 13 of them were from Nigeria, while one was from Ghana.
Tushar Doshi, deputy commissioner of police (special branch) 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”.