NEW DELHI: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Sunday claimed to have busted an international heroin smuggling syndicate with the arrest of seven persons, including foreigners, and seizure of drugs worth about Rs 48 crore in Delhi.
Among the arrested are an African man and a woman from Myanmar, the federal anti-narcotics agency said.
The agency unearthed a modus operandi where the mastermind was coordinating the operations from abroad by creating various layers of anonymity, it said.
"To circumvent the current situation of controlled international passenger flights, the mastermind and the syndicate involved were exploiting the international courier route," the agency's Deputy Director (Operations) K P S Malhotra said in a statement.
The operation began early this month with the seizure of a parcel, originating from South Africa, containing 970gm of heroin from a courier service in the national capital.
"In order to unearth the full trail, NCB chief Rakesh Asthana issued an order to initiate the controlled delivery procedure to the Delhi zonal unit of the agency to track the beneficiaries of the seized parcel.
"The controlled delivery mechanism empowers NCB to keep the parcel delivery alive, even after seizing the contraband and replacing the same with the dummy parcel," Malhotra said.
Under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the NCB director-general is authorized to order a controlled delivery operation to unravel all layers of a drug cartel or syndicate.
The parcel led the agency to arrest Indian nationals identified as Wahid, Mohsin, Shahjahan, Hanif, and Munnasir from a hotel in the Mahipalpur area of Delhi, Malhotra said.
Their interrogation led the NCB to another parcel containing about 980 gms of heroin. Later, a lady from Myanmar and an African were also arrested.
"Two live parcels are also being identified and they will be seized in the near future. The credentials of the Burmese and the African nations are being verified."
"The international value of the seized heroin including the one kept in the yet-to-be seized parcels is estimated to be more than Rs 48 crore," the NCB officer said.