M A I N   N E W S

Heroin worth Rs 525 cr seized from Pak train
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 8
The Customs Department seized 105 kg of heroin, worth around Rs 525 crore in the international market, from a goods train coming from Pakistan today. Around 500 cartridges were also seized from the train that was loaded with cement bags.

The contraband seizure from a rail cargo from Pakistan threatens to once again derail cement import from the neighbouring country. Indian importers had suspended cement import from Pakistan in August due to this very reason, and the exercise had resumed only a month ago following assurances from Pakistan authorities.

Addressing a press conference, Deputy Commissioner, Customs, Vijay Bahadur Singh said the customs officials seized heroin and cartridges from coach No. 66938 of a goods train that arrived from Pakistan.

“The bogey had 488 bags of cement of Elephant brand, apart from four other bags of different brands. The consignment of heroin and cartridges was dispatched in these four bags. There were 101 packets containing 105 kg of heroin in one of the bags. Two other bags had 400 cartridges in the form of packets of 50 each, while the other bag had 100 cartridges.” He said .397 bore cartridges were of magnum revolver. Each of these was worth Rs 400, he added.

The DC said the seal of the bogey, from which the seizure was made, was intact at Attari, but it was found broken at the Amritsar cargo terminal. This hinted at a possible attempt to take away the consignment of heroin and cartridges.

“Had our officials found the seal broken at Attari itself, we would have sent it back from there only.” When the train arrived at Amritsar, the metal seal on one side of the bogey was found intact, but it was broken on the other side, he added. Earlier, the Pakistan authorities had been using paper seals on bogeys. They had switched to metal seals from September 3 after the issue of repeated heroin seizures was strongly taken up with them.

Three seizures of heroin were made from the rail cargo from Pakistan between June and August this year. He said they had a meeting with Pakistan customs officials on October 4 and 5 who had promised to be very careful in checking the menace. He said it might be an attempt by unscrupulous elements to smuggle contraband across the border so that the bilateral trade between the two countries could be derailed. He didn’t rule out the of involvement of some terror outfit in the incident. The contraband was found in a consignment belonging to a firm named Mohan Communications.

This is not the first instance of heroin seizure from the rail cargo from Pakistan. Earlier, five kg of heroin was seized on June 2, seven kg on July 16 and again five kg on August 3. This is perhaps the largest consignment of the contraband seized from a rail cargo from the neighbouring country.

Indian traders have been demanding installation of scanners at rail cargo facilities and had also met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in that regard yesterday when he visited the ICP at Attari.

  • JUNE 2: Five kg of heroin found hidden in a heap of 488 cement bags in a goods train from Pakistan
  • JULY 16: Seven kg of heroin found in a wagon of goods train carrying cement from Pakistan
  • AUGUST 3: Following a tip-off, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials seize three kg of heroin hidden in cement bags
  • AUGUST 4: Indian importers suspend cement import from Pakistan; seek installation of scanners at rail cargo facilities
  • SEPTEMBER 3: Indian traders resume cement import after Pakistan customs authorities start using metal seals on bogies





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