The arrested duo was identified as Deborah Eliah (46) and Felix Obadia (45) from their passports. The woman posed as a patient seeking treatment at a hospital in Bengaluru while Felix claimed to be her attendant.
The couple, who arrived from Johannesburg via Doha were initially intercepted by the Customs officers at the exit on suspicion of carrying narcotics. On questioning, the officers noticed that they appeared to be nervous and gave evasive replies. They both were carrying two stroller bags each as their check-in baggage. On examination, the customs officers noticed false bottoms in the baggages in which plastic packets were concealed. In each trolley bag, five plastic packets were found and father they were cut open, white coarse powder was found inside. The plastic packets were sprinkled with a spicy powder to camouflage the smell. The powder later turned out to be heroin after being tested with a drug kit. In total, 15.6 kg of the heroin valued at Rs 100 crore was recovered and seized under the NDPS Act read with Customs Act.
On questioning, the officers found that Deborah Eliah was travelling to India for medical treatment along with her attendant Felix at a Super Speciality Hospital at Bengaluru on a visa granted to them on basis of communication from the Hospital. As they could not get any direct flight to Bengaluru, they landed in Chennai. Both have been arrested under the NDPS Act. Further investigations are in progress.