532 kg heroin 'smuggled' from Pak through trade route seized at Attari

In its biggest ever narcotics haul, the Customs Department seized 532 kg of suspected heroin worth Rs 2,700 crore, which was smuggled into India from Pakistan in a truck through trade route at the Attari border, officials said Sunday.

An official said the smuggling racket’s alleged mastermind, based in Kashmir, has been arrested and the importer of the rock salt consignment, who is based in Amritsar, has been detained for questioning. The consignment of heroin and another 52 kg of suspected mixed narcotics was concealed under hundreds of bags of rock salt inside the truck which arrived at Attari through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) two days ago, Customs (Preventive) Commissioner Deepak Kumar Gupta said.

“In a major breakthrough in busting the international organised drug smuggling, the Customs Preventive Commissionerate, Amritsar has seized 532 kg of suspected heroin and 52 kg of suspected mixed narcotics in the import consignment at ICP, Attari,” he said.

“This is the biggest ever achievement in annals of the Indian Customs history,” he told a press conference here.

Tariq Ahmed, the mastermind of the organised smuggling racket based in Handwara, Kashmir, has been arrested with the help of J&K police, Gupta said, adding that further investigations is underway.

“We are also questioning the importer of the consignment of rock salt,” he said.

The import consignment from Pakistan had arrived here two days ago and the truck driver had returned after unloading it. Before clearing a consignment, the Customs Department carries out its detailed checking and examination. “The value of heroin in the international market is approximately Rs 2,700 crore,” he said.