CHANDIGARH: In one of the biggest drug haul, the Special Task Force (STF) seized 195 kg of heroin worth Rs 2,000 crore in the international market from the house of a politician in Punjab.
The drugs reportedly came to Punjab from Gujarat and were smuggled from Afghanistan via Pakistan.
The drug haul allegedly has links to one of India’s biggest drug smuggling kingpins. It is also suspected to have a possible involvement of a former SSB member appointed by the former SAD-BJP government.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said 'the house in Sultanwind village in Amritsar from where the police seized about 195 kilograms of heroin along with chemicals last night allegedly belonged to Anwar Masih, who was a member of the Subordinate Services Board (SSB) appointed by the previous SAD-BJP government.
Investigations were in progress to ascertain Masih’s involvement, who claims to have rented out the house to the accused arrested by the STF. However, Masih had so far failed to produce any written rent agreement and the people of the area were also unaware of any tenants living there, Amarinder said.
Preliminary investigations had revealed that the accused had been using the premises for the past one month.
Amarinder Singh said 'initial investigations suggest that the drug network was linked with Simranjit Singh Sandhu, one of the biggest drug mafia of the country, who has recently been detained in Italy.
His government would seek remand of Sandhu, who holds an Australian passport and was detained in Italy on an Interpol police from the Gujarat Police.
The seizure appeared to be a part of the consignment of 300 kgs of drugs that arrived in Mandavi in Gujarat last year and of which 200 kg was smuggled into Punjab.
The consignment had been traced to Sandhu, while efforts were also on to trace the other big fish involved in the case.
He said six persons, including an Afghan national identified as Armaan Basharmal, have so far been arrested, with 194.15 kgs of heroin and several kgs of chemicals seized from their possession.
Many equipments used for refining heroin and mixing it with other products have also been seized from Armaan, who had come to Punjab a week ago.
On January, two people were arrested and a case was registered under the NDPS and Arms Act at Phase IV Special Task Force Police Station in Mohali and six kilograms of heroin was recovered from them.
On interrogation, the STF yesterday recovered 188 kilogram of heroin, 38 kilograms of dextromethorphan, 25 kilograms of caffeine powder probably used to cut and mix the heroin, six drums of chemical composition weight 207 kilograms which are to be tested to confirm the type of material were recovered from a house from Sultanwind area of Amritsar.
The recovery was made in the presence of an Executive Magistrate.
An officer said that six people have been arrested in both cases including an Afghanistan national from this house where preparation, mixing and cutting of drugs was taking place. The Afghan national has come to India a few days ago only and his task was to dilute the heroin which was of very high quality so that more quantity is there and more money can be made.
Sources said that from Afghanistan the drugs reach Pakistan and enter India through the Indo-Pak border. A kilogram smuggled from across the border is valued around Rs 5 crore in the international market. While the price of heroin in Afghanistan is very less.
When it enters Pakistan it costs somewhere between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Once it enters India the cost shoots up to Rs 20 to 25 lakh per kilogram.