Jammu: Police foiled a major inter-state heroin smuggling attempt with the arrest of a truck driver with 21.5 kg heroin worth Rs 80 crores in the international market at Udhampur on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Sunday.
The packets in which the heroin was concealed had stamps of Afghan enterprises and 7777 marks, depicting the quality of heroin.
The driver of the truck has been identified as Kulwinder Singh, son of Jarnail Singh of Nawansher, Punjab.
ADGP Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh told Greater Kashmir that during the vehicle checking at a checkpoint at Zero Point in Chenani, a truck (PB08BT 9403), coming from Kashmir towards Udhampur was intercepted.
Singh said that during checking 18 packets of heroin weighing around 21.5 kg were recovered.
“The Police team of Chenani recovered Rs 10,000 cash, two mobile phones, and two SIM cards from the possession of the arrested truck driver,” SSP Udhampur, Vinod Kumar said addressing a news conference.
Kumar said that the driver was working on the directions of a handler from across the border and the owner of the consignment through a social media app that had been found in one of his mobiles.
Quoting preliminary investigation, he said, “The initial investigation has disclosed that the arrested truck driver had travelled two to three times on the route and was involved in smuggling for the last year.”
Kumar said that the driver had loaded pipes in his truck on October 13, and on October 14 he had reached Uri where he took the consignment.
He then went to Kargil to unload the pipes.
“On October 19, he returned to Srinagar and loaded apples on October 20 before proceeding towards Punjab,” Kumar said.
He said that in the morning when the driver reached the Chenani checkpoint, his truck was intercepted by the alert cops, and a huge consignment of narcotics was recovered.
Kumar said that after the registration of the case under the NDPS Act, SDPO Chenani has been tasked to investigate the matter and to work on the backward and forward links.
He said that Police had found Afghan stamps on the packets and 7777 markings.
“Handlers sitting out across the border were in touch with him (truck driver). From time to time, they would send messages through a social media app and constantly remained in touch with each other,” Kumar said.
He said that the driver told Police that the truck was heading for Punjab and he would have gotten further directions only once he crossed Lakhanpur.
“As the consignment is huge, we apprehend inter-state and international level links for which an investigation would be conducted by the DySP rank Police officers,” Kumar said.