KATHMANDU: An Indian truck driver has been arrested by Nepal police for allegedly attempting to smuggle hashish and opium to Delhi.
Meraz Alam, 25, of Bihar was arrested with 213 kg of hashish and 2.250 kg of opium from Nepal's Kalanki area yesterday after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) received a tip-off, the Himalayan Times reported.
According to officials, the truck Alam drove was used to smuggle drugs to India.
These were concealed in two compartments made in the cargo space of the truck, the report said.
"We were after the truck for months based on information that it was being used to smuggle drugs to India. Primary investigation shows that the destination of the hashish and opium was Delhi," a police official said.
It said that Alam told NCB officials that he was preparing to ferry the drugs to Delhi via Sunauli border point of Nepal and Gorakhpur in India.
He admitted to smuggling hashish and opium to India several times, according to NCB officials.
Hashish, which is made from cannabis, fetches over USD 20,000 in Europe and Southeast Asian countries compared to around Rs 20,000 per kg in Nepal's illegal drug market.
A report published by NCB says that many farmers, especially in Makawanpur, Udayapur, Baglung, Salyan, Rukum and Dhading districts have been cultivating opium in large swathes of land.
Narco cops have taken initiatives to destroy opium poppy before its harvest.
Geographical remoteness and economic backwardness of the rural people are major factors in illicit cultivation of opium and marijuana, the report warned.