Around noon came a man in an auto-rickshaw at Excel Worldwide Pty Ltd, a courier firm in Phase-2, Industrial Area of Chennai. He was carrying two boxes of crockery items that were destined to be delivered in Sydney, Australia. As per regular procedures, the courier company started sanitising all the packets. They also checked the parcels as per the training given to them by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). They found that the wooden trays were hollow and suspected was something hidden under the trays. An employee scratched a tray, and a blackish power started trickling out. The accused, later identified as Ashfaq Rehman, got angry, and subsequently, he tried to escape the premises but was captured.
The local police and central narcotics agency officials were called on the scene. They took the man in custody and, upon search, found a total of 10.2 kilograms of cocaine hidden in 10 pocket trays, which has a street value of $18 million within the international market.
Accused Rehman claimed that he was paid Rs 1 lakh to send each consignment to Australia. He reportedly confessed to having shipped to Sydney from another courier company a few days back. The accused is not well educated, only matriculating 10th grade, but can fluently speak in English, Hindi and Tamil. It is believed that he is part of an international drug syndicate.