More than 40 white oval capsules stuffed with almost 500 gram of cocaine, which could be worth more than Rs 1 crore, were extracted from the abdomen of a Brazilian ‘tourist’ who came to Kolkata carrying them inside his body, said officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau.
NCB officials said the seizure of such a large quantity of cocaine was not common in Kolkata.
The last time NCB made a cocaine haul was five years ago. A Bolivian woman was arrested for carrying 2.1kg of cocaine, an officer said.
“Cocaine hauls do not happen every day. We had a specific input about cocaine trafficking from Brazil to India. We followed the lead and intercepted this man when he landed in Kolkata on August 12. He was picked up from the airport on the basis of suspicion of swallowing cocaine,” said the officer.
“The suspicion was confirmed when the man started complaining of pain in his abdomen.”
Paulo Cesar Pinheiro Bastos, 31, who had come to Kolkata from Brazil via Dubai on August 12 on a tourist visa, complained of an abdomen ache after he was detained by the NCB at the Kolkata airport, officers at NCB said.
He had to be hospitalised.
Initially, he was taken to a private hospital in Salt Lake, where he underwent an abdomen X-ray.
“The X-ray image of his abdomen revealed the presence of some external bodies or pellet-like substances in his pelvic area and in his intestines. That was suspected to be the cause of his ailment. He was shifted to SSKM Hospital three days later, where doctors made efforts to extract the external bodies through stool. However, he was extremely violent in the hospital and hence the extraction had to be done over several days,” said an NCB officer.
After the ‘extraction’ process was complete, the doctors were left with 44 oval-shaped plastic-like capsules.
“On cutting open these oval capsules, a white powdery substance was found inside them. Tests revealed it was cocaine. Altogether 497 gram of cocaine was found inside the 44 capsules that were extracted from the man’s abdomen,” the officer said.
According to NCB officers, one gram of cocaine from South America could cost anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000, depending on its purity.
This means the cost of the seized cocaine could be anything between Rs 49 lakh and Rs 1.24 crore.
Bastos was released from the hospital on Friday and produced in the Barasat court.
The entire cocaine was seized under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
An NCB officer said they were probing details about Bastos and his contacts in Kolkata.
“He was flying alone,” the officer said.