CHANDIGARH: In the biggest haul ever, almost 532 kilograms of heroin worth Rs 2,700 crores smuggled through the trade war was seized from the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari border on Saturday.
The heroin was being smuggled from Pakistan in a consignment of rock salt which was ordered by a local trader.
"In a major breakthrough in busting the international Organized Drug smuggling, we have seized 532 kg of heroin and 52 kg of suspected mixed narcotics in the import consignment at ICP, Attari which is the biggest ever achievement in the annals of Indian customs history. One sack of the said consignment was found to have white coloured powder granular substance," Deepak Kumar Gupta, Commissioner of Customs (Preventive), Amritsar.
On detailed examination of 600 bags, 15 bags were suspected to have narcotics material and on 100 per cent examination of the 15 bags all the bags were found to contain Heroin (as per preliminary testing kit of NDPS) having net weight of 532 Kgs and mixed narcotics of 52 Kgs, he said.
The heroin and its packaging were all seized under provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 and NDPS Act, 1985.
Gupta said, "Importer of the said consignment based in Amritsar has been detained for further questioning. Two people Tariq Ahmed Lone from Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir the mastermind of this organized smuggling racket and Gurvinder Singh the legal exporter of this consignment have been arrested. Lone had got his licence last year in December only".
As per sources, a local trader Singh belonging to Hussainpura in Amritsar had ordered this consignment of salt from Pakistan which was sent by Globe Vision Enterprises a Pakistan based exporter. This consignment of 600 salt bags in one truck had reached the ICP at Attari on June 26 and was lying there for last four days.
On Saturday, the local trader's agent reached the ICP to get the consignment of salt realised when the officials, upon suspicion opened a few bags of salt to check. The official discovered at least one-kilogram packet of drug from ever bag.
Gurpinder claimed that he knew nothing of recovery of narcotics from the salt bags. The order for this consignment was placed as an advance of Rs 10.50 lakh was received by Parminder from an unknown person at J&K Bank, Batala.
An officer said that the department got suspicious as, despite the 200 per cent import duty on goods from Pakistan, this consignment of rock salt was ordered. So they checked the consignment.
Interestingly the full body scanner at the border for trucks is yet to be installed by the Union government. But on the Pakistani side, such a scanner has already been installed by the authorities. They manually check the trucks going into India from Pakistan with the help of sniffer dogs. Earlier also there have been instances of drugs, gold and weapons being smuggled.