14 kg of heroin seized from Samjhauta

deepak pace

Custom sleuths seized 14 kg of heroin, worth Rs 70 crore in the international market, brought from Lahore by four Indian nationals, including two women, on the Samjhauta Express at the Attari Railway Station yesterday.

They had been caught following a tip-off from intelligence agencies. They boarded the train from Lahore, a custom official said. The accused had been identified as Akhtar Abas (27), a resident of Buland Shehar, Sadika (62), Ali Baksh (39) and Bundila (17), all from Uttar Pradesh.
It is learnt that an intelligence agency had provided a list to the Customs Department of suspects, who had been frequently visiting Pakistan on the Samjhauta Express. The arrested persons could be drug couriers, who charge Rs 3,000 per kg from the actual operators. The consignment was concealed in 20 wall clocks in small packets. It was to be reportedly delivered near Jama Masjid, New Delhi. After the arrest of the accused, a vigil has been intensified at the railway station.
Sources said it was difficult to catch the culprits without inputs provided by the intelligence agencies. The ever-increasing haul of heroin shows that Amritsar has become the main transit point for the drug coming from Afghanistan via Pakistan. From Punjab, it finds its way to major cities like Delhi and Mumbai, besides Nepal, and is also smuggled to western countries through the Rajasansi airport. Being prohibitively expensive, heroin is hardly used in Punjab, where opium, poppy husk and smack rule the roost.