Two Kenyan women arrested in India with narcotics


The two will be charged with drug trafficking, an offence that can attract a sentence of up to 20 years’ imprisonment. (Photo used for illustration purposes.)

Photo credit: Pool

Police in India have detained two Kenyan women after they were found in possession of suspected narcotic drugs.

Mwanje Faridah, 42, and Cilian Awar Nyanzangu were among three women arrested at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Sunday.

The Times of India reported that the two suspects were arrested separately. 

Faridah was found with 980 grams of a white-coloured substance believed to be cocaine, while Nyanzangu was carrying 5.16 kilos of a white powder suspected to be heroin, according to India's Air Intelligence Unit (AIU).

Authorities said Nyanzangu landed in Mumbai from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The two will be charged with drug trafficking, an offence that can attract a sentence of up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

The third case was of Naaz Farha Sharif, 42, a Mumbai resident with 4.12kg of gold hidden in her baggage. Officials said Naaz arrived from Dubai on Saturday morning. 

She told officials that she hails from a poor family and was going to sell the gold.

The arrests of the Kenyans came days after another Kenyan woman travelling from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was nabbed at Mumbai Airport carrying cocaine worth Sh72 million.

She was arrested and detained.

Hawk-eyed customs officials found the cocaine sealed in the shoes she was wearing after searching her.

The officials said they had received intelligence reports from their Kenyan counterparts.

They seized 490 grams of cocaine.

In March, India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 8.5 kilos of heroin worth Sh890 million and arrested two Kenyan nationals at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport in Ahmedabad.

The drug seizures were some of the largest made at the airport in a single case, DRI officials said.

The two, who hid the narcotics in cavities inside their bags, were arrested after landing on an international flight.

“We received specific intelligence that two passengers from Kenya are arriving at Ahmedabad Airport and are carrying narcotic drugs with them,” read a statement from DRI. 

“Acting on the same, officers of the DRI intercepted the said two Kenyan passengers – a male and a female – at the airport.”

When their bags were examined, officers noticed that the empty bags had extra weight, suggesting that the bags had false cavities.

“Both the Kenyan nationals admitted their involvement in drug trafficking and were arrested Thursday under the NDPS Act,” the statement said.

“The modus operandi adopted by the said syndicate indicates that these passengers came to visit India on the pretext of medical visits on the basis of fabricated letters shown as issued by the hospital.”

In December 2021, another Kenyan woman was caught in India carrying four kilos of smuggled gold and detained. Reports said the woman had concealed the gold in her undergarments, spice bottles and footwear.