MUMBAI, India – Indian Customs Air Intelligence Unit has recovered drugs worth approximately ₹ 60 crores from a Zimbabwean passenger at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, said Mumbai customs officer.
The drugs were concealed inside the trolley bag and two file folders, added the Mumbai customs officer.
She was found to be carrying 7,006 grams yellowish powder tested as “Heroin” and 1480 grams white crystal granules tested to contain a combination of ‘Heroin’ and ‘Methamp’, as per the customs officer.
Zimbabwe is undergoing an emerging drug abuse epidemic. Until recently, the only drugs available in the country were marijuana and ‘Bronco’, a prescription cough syrup containing codeine that is manufactured in South Africa.
With the use of the US dollar as its dominant currency, Zimbabwe is seeing drug dealers travel from as far as Brazil. Lasy year, Guilherme Sodre Alverez DA Silveria, a Brazilian aged 32 was arrested at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport with US$32 million worth of Class A drugs.
A drug dealer interviewed by the Zimbabwean news website, Khuluma Afrika, said that most of his customers now want to buy ‘upfu’ (mealie meal), which is the street name for cocaine. He also said that he was doing a thriving business in diazepam, meth and crack as well as Bronco and cocaine.
Most of the illegal drugs flooding into Zimbabwe are manufactured outside the country and smuggled across the border.
Due to their affordability, the popularity of prescription medications lingers in Zimbabwe. One of the most popular choices among the country’s users is cough medicine imported from South Africa, which is often codeine-based. It is brought into the country cheaply and then resold to buyers at much higher prices.
The increase in drug abuse has led to a rise in social problems in some cities. For example, many vagrant drug addicts in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, are engaging in petty criminal activity to pay for their drug habit. They then congregate in public places and use drugs until they pass out, repeating the cycle when they wake up.
Dr Benson Mudiwa said: “Unfortunately, the country is found wanting when it comes to helping and rehabilitating drug users, with the public-sector facility programs almost non-existent, and only one private facility rehabilitating drug users in Harare. Organisations like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) also have a lethargic almost insignificant presence in Zimbabwe.”