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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

NCB busts Afghanistan-linked drug syndicate, seizes 50 kg heroin from Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, 35 kg heroin from UP’s Muzaffarnagar

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has busted a drug syndicate with links to Afghanistan and seized about 50 kg heroin from the notorious Shaheen Bagh area in Jamia Nagar in what is being called one of the biggest narcotics seizures in Delhi.

47 kg of other suspected drugs and Rs 30 lakh in cash were also seized by the federal anti-narcotics agency, and one person was arrested in the raid carried out on Wednesday.

“The drugs came to the country through an India-Afghanistan syndicate that has been busted. Further investigation is on,” PTI quoted NCB Deputy Director General (operations) Sanjay Kumar Singh as saying.

The drugs were kept in backpacks and jute bags and were wrapped in packets of e-commerce major Flipkart and other companies. A senior officer said the kingpin of the syndicate is based in Dubai.

“The supply is to Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand via sea route and land border that is Attari-Wagah border. They also mix it with legal goods being imported from Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Singh said. He added that many people of the network have been identified and searches are underway at various locations in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

Speaking to ANI about the Shaheen Bagh drug bust, Director-General of NCB, SN Pradhan said, “There is every possibility of narco-terrorism module. The network is connected to Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East. So there is every chance that there may be a narco-terrorism module. However, it is subject to investigation.”

“This has been going on for several days. More people are involved in this case. We have been trying to catch the entire network. Pakistani nationals were caught in an operation a few days ago. Further, people were caught from Muzaffarnagar and Kairana in an ATS raid. During the investigation, the case of Shaheen Bagh’s apartment came to the fore. Not only heroin was being imported, but heroin was being made from opium at the apartment,” said the NCB chief. 

Shaheen Bagh gained notoriety for the illegal anti-CAA protest from Dec 2019 onwards that blocked a major thoroughfare inconveniencing ordinary citizens and school children, and from where anti-Hindu diatribes, calls for violence and death threats to the PM/HM, boycott calls and various falsehoods were peddled. Ultimately, the Shaheen Bagh model was replicated in other parts of Delhi, culminating in the deadly 2020 anti-Hindu Delhi riots.

In another drug seizure from what appears to be the same India-Afghanistan drug syndicate, NCB and Gujarat ATS on Wednesday seized 35 kg of heroin from Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district. Muzaffarnagar has a major concentration of Muslims (41.3% as per the last Census held 11 years ago) and was the scene of deadly communal rioting in 2013 after two Hindu Jat brothers who protested the molestation and sexual harassment of their sister were shot dead.

In a statement, the NCB said a tip-off about the syndicate was shared by the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad following which the two agencies intercepted two Muzaffarnagar residents in Delhi and about 1 kg heroin was recovered from their vehicle. Following this, a cache of 34 kg of heroin and 2.75 kg of acetic anhydride (a chemical used to manufacture drugs) was recovered from a  store house in Muzaffarnagar.

“They have been smuggling goods to India through maritime and land border route wherein heroin was concealed. The narcotics was later extracted from those goods by the Indian counterparts with the help of Afghan mules in the Muzaffarnagar store house,” a statement by NCB said.

Jut 4 days back, Gujarat ATS and India Coast Guard ships apprehended a Pakistani boat ‘Al Haj’ with 9 Pakistani crew on the Indian side of the Arabian sea carrying 56 kg heroin worth Rs 280 crores. Last year, Indian Navy had captured a Pakistani boat manned by a Sri Lankan crew with 300 kg drugs worth ₹3000 crore in the Arabian Sea – an initial probe revealed that the contraband was meant to fund terror activities in Bharat, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

According to a report by news agency PTI, in the past six months, Customs at the IGI Airport alone has booked around 16 cases under the NDPS Act which is the highest at any airport. Almost 33.7 kg of heroin and 12.60 kg of Cocaine have been seized from international passengers, mostly nationals of African origin.

why are we continuing to do any trade with a terrorist state like Pakistan, seeing how this facility is being abused by criminals and terrorists acting at the directions of Pakistan’s notorious spy agency ISI? The Attari-Wagah border crossing must be shut down just like the trade crossings in Kashmir were shut – explosive RDX for the 2019 Pulwama attack had reportedly been smuggled through those LoC border crossings.

The volume of narcotics smuggling going on in Bharat, and its links to terror outfits, shows that it is high time that we considered strict laws along the lines of Singapore to deal with this menace. But even if tougher laws are passed, can our higher judiciary, hijacked as it is by left-liberal Lutyens elites, which commutes death sentences of even brutal child rapists and murderers, be trusted to place national interests paramount and apply those tough anti-drug laws?

Or are we doomed to forever remain a soft state, an open field for foreign interests, internal fifth columnists, terrorists and criminals to do as they wish?

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