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Police details Pakistani role in drug smuggling

Report describes drug supply lines from Pakistan to Indian states, foreign market.

Arvind Chhabra  Chandigarh | 20th Sep 2014

he Punjab Police have pointed to a nexus of smugglers from Pakistan, India and other countries, which has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of heroin being smuggled into Punjab. The heroin is either sent to other Indian states or sold into the international market. The police also claim to have identified some of the smugglers and transit lines.

"There has been a sustained focus on identification of international drug smugglers based in Pakistan and their associates in India, and heroin supply lines are being identified and neutralised," says deputy inspector general of police Balkar Sidhu in a detailed report.

Drug abuse has become a serious issue in the state, with countless families having been ruined. It also became a issue in the recent general elections, pushing the government to launch a huge anti-drug campaign.

The Sunday Guardian has a copy of the report, which says: "Punjab shares 553 km of the international border with Pakistan. The golden crescent, comprising Afghanistan and Pakistan, is the top heroin producing region in the world. Most of opium is cultivated in Afghanistan and heroin factories are located in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

The government has also cited examples of the involvement of smugglers based in Pakistan.

Last June, the state police seized 27 kg of heroin as it transited through Punjab. "The heroin had originated from Lahore-based smugglers Kalu Chairman and Nasir. It was pushed into India from Muzaffarabad in Jammu and Kashmir, and was to be delivered to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan when it was intercepted by the Punjab police," says the report. Had it reached Jaisalmer, this consignment would have been sent abroad with Samuen, a Burundi national.

"The linkage between Samuen and Hardeep Singh alias Parry, the top Indian drug lord in the transit chain was established during their visits to Burail jail to meet with relatives arrested in narcotics cases," says the report.

One of the smuggling lines neutralised by the Punjab police started from Bagga Chairman of Lahore and culminated with a Sri Lankan named Anaten, who used to collect consignments in Delhi. UP-based drug smuggler Mumtaz Mohammad Ali and his conduits Surinder Kumar and Ajit Singh alias Jita were arrested.

Citing yet another case, the police says that in July, 14.5 kg heroin was recovered and the transit lines of a top Pakistani drug cartel led by Akram Dayal were broken. The cartel was funnelling heroin to Delhi for sale to the international market. Delhi-based end recipient Raman Pandit and his conduit Bhajan Singh were arrested.

The police report said that 12,695 persons have been arrested between 1 January and 8 September, and 10,830 FIRs have been registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. The striking feature is the rise in amount of heroin seized. As of September 8, police had seized over 438 kg this year alone. This means that an average of over 60 kg is being seized every month, more than the total amount seized in several recent years put together. Similar increases have been seen in other drugs, too.

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