One of the biggest narcotics seizures of this year has been conducted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) as it confiscated about 300kg of heroin at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). It is alleged that the narcotics was being smuggled from Afghanistan via Iran and is worth about Rs. 879 crore.
The official reports of the DRI which came on July 4 showed that the whole consignment was declared to have gypsum stone and talcum powder.
“The consignment had arrived from Afghanistan via Iran which raised suspicion that it may contain some banned goods. During physical examination, we discovered it was narcotics mis-declared gypsum,” said an official
The goods were to reach Punjab with the import export code registered in the name of Prabhjot Singh, who has been arrested. It has also been revealed that this man had been exporting narcotics in the name of gypsum stone and talcum powder for the past one year. A test was conducted using an NDPS kit which confirmed that the confiscated product was heroin.
Heroin ranks first in the list of the most trafficked substances in India, closely followed by cannabis and cocaine. This seizure has gained wide scale significance since the Punjab elections are just around the corner and drugs stand out to be the major issue for every politician.
The Mumbai Customs and DRI had confiscated 191 kg heroin worth about Rs. 1000 crore, in August 2020. They were also believed to have been smuggled from Afghanistan through a container at the JNPT and were hoodwinked as ‘ayurvedic medicine’. In March 2021, 300 kg heroin loaded on a boat was seized along with five AK-47 guns and ammunition, near the Vizhinjam in Kerala by the Indian Coast Guard and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
This past year has seen a surge in the drug smuggling activities and all the concerned organizations and agencies have been on a high-alert for a close inspection of the goods. All this has happened amidst the brutal pandemic and the officers are working tirelessly even during such tough times.