CHANDIGARH: The Covid-19 pandemic did not deter drugs smuggling from Pakistan. The Border Security Force (BSF) last year made a record 517-kg haul of heroin, which is the highest seizure in past five years. The drug recovery in 2020 witnessed almost a three-fold rise compared to 2019 (228 kg). per the BSF data. BSF soldiers also shot dead eight drug smugglers and intruders in separate encounters in 2020 and apprehended 13 of them. “The number of intruders trying to cross over came down last year as we reacted swiftly,” said a senior BSF official.
In 2020 in a humanitarian gesture, the force handed over six Pakistanis to the Pakistan Rangers after they had inadvertently crossed the international border.Sources said as the international flights were banned and also sea ports were closed due to the pandemic, the traffickers tried to smuggle the drugs through land routes.
“With almost every drug consignment, weapons too are sent along. The most common weapon is a .30 bore pistol,” said a BSF officer. The BSF has also been able to free bonded labourers from farmers having land across the border fencing. In 2020 some 30 such labourers were rescued. “Most of the labourers belonged to UP, MP and Chhattisgarh,” said a BSF officer.