A Nigerian man, 41, identified as Sylvester Henry Owen has been arrested by Bengaluru Customs officers for attempting to smuggle ecstasy pills worth $136,000 into India.
Owen was arrested on Friday in Bengaluru in a joint operation by Customs officials at Kempegowda International Airport and local police.
Authorities seized 1,980 ecstasy pills hidden inside a German-made massage machine at the air cargo complex at the Kempegowda International Airport.
The suspect who was a resident in Mumbai, until he moved to Bengaluru last month, claimed to be an importer of hair for wig making, Times of India reported.
Owen’s cover was blown open on Friday, after Custom officials found concealed 1,980 ecstasy pills in the electric massager that arrived through DHL couriers from Brussels, Belgium, to be delivered to him (Owen).
“After removing the contents, we repacked it and made a DHL agent call Owen on Thursday morning to say that the parcel would be delivered shortly. Owen asked the agent to come near a bakery at Hommadevanahalli in Horamavu,” an official said.
A DHL van, with a driver and two Customs officials masquerading as cargo centre employees, headed to the location, with officials following close behind.
“When one of our staffers handed over the parcel, Owen showed his identity proof with a passport. After confirming his identity, we nabbed him in the middle of the road. He is well-built and resisted, but was overpowered and taken to the Customs office,” a senior official said.
The Police and Customs officials recovered 200 gram of marijuana from his house.
Owen was produced before the magistrate and remanded to judicial custody.
The investigators believe that he had been procuring drugs through the dark web for quite a while and was selling it in Bengaluru.
The officials are also probing his links with the city’s drug network as the Narcotics Control Bureau too, had arrested three people last month with MDMA pills that were bought from Brussels.