On an average,more than a kilogram of heroin was seized every day on the Indo-Pak border adjoining Punjab for the first six months of this year. Records with the Border Security Force (BSF) show that in the first half of 2012,the force has seized a record 197 kilograms of heroin worth nearly Rs 1,000 crore.
This is nearly three times more than 68 kgs seized last year. It is also the highest amount of the drug seized in the past five years.
BSF attributes the high quantity of heroin seizure to enhanced surveillance in the border areas. The force also admits that there have been more attempts by smugglers,from the Pakistani side,to push the drug to their counterparts on the Indian side.
There has been an increase in attempts of smuggling from the Pakistan side but I would attribute the huge seizure to enhanced surveillance. Of the total heroin seized in the country so far,BSF alone accounts for 60 per cent. As far as Punjab is concerned,this year,we have seized 76 per cent of the total heroin caught in the state, says BSF IG (Punjab Frontier) Aditya Mishra.
The issue was also discussed in the recent meeting between the BSF and Pak Rangers,where BSF officials asked their Pakistani counterparts to take steps to check the smuggling.
The heroin that is smuggled to India comes primarily from the South West Asian countries,particularly Afghanistan. There was production of more than 700 metric tonnes of poppy last year in Afghanistan, said Narcotics Control Bureau Zonal Director at Chandigarh Rohit Katiar. Once smuggled to India via Pakistan,the drug is again smuggled out to other destinations,he added.
Smugglers are devising novel ways to smuggle the drug. BSF recently recovered an iron agricultural tool sealed from both sides. Heroin packets were recovered from the agricultural tool after it was cut. The customs department in two different cases also recovered 11 kilogrammes of heroin from a consignment of cement bags from goods trains that came from Pakistan.
In another case,the crew of goods train from Pakistan was detained in India after a bag containing heroin was allegedly thrown from the train after it entered India and was said to have been noticed by the Horse mounted personnel of the BSF who move along the train for a distance after it enters India.
Apart from BSF,the State Special Operation Cell (SSOC) and border districts police are also learnt to have recovered heroin consignments in good numbers.
Last year the SSOC had recovered 66 kg of heroin. This year so far,the SSOC has already recovered more than 70 kg of heroin, tells SSOC AIG at Amritsar S Boopathi.