In the biggest drug haul this year, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell has seized more than 300 kilograms of heroin soaked in 20 tonnes of “licorice roots” consignment stored in a container at Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai. The police said the value of seized contraband is Rs 1,725 crore in the international
This seizure of heroin comes after Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested two Afghanistan nationals identified as Mustafa Stanikzai and Rahimullah Rahimi. The police seized 312.5 kg of the narcotic drug methamphetamine and 10 kg of high-purity heroin valued at Rs 1,250 crore from their possession during a multi-State operation.
“During interrogation they told about a consignment of licorice roots stored at JNPT Mumbai.
The accused also disclosed that 17 bags containing licorice roots soaked with heroin, 350 to 400 gm per kg (amounting to a total of 345 kg of contraband), were concealed separately. The total weight of the consignment was 20,000 kg,” said HGS Dhaliwal, the Special Commissioner of Police, Special Cell.
“After obtaining a search warrant, a police team reached Mumbai on September 16 and inspected each and every stick of the consignment, weighing around 20,000 kg in total.
The police got suspicious when they found that the colour of some of the sticks of licorice root was darker than the others,” said the Special CP.
“During the nightlong tedious exercise, the team was able to detect heroin in all the sticks that were darker in colour,” said the Special CP.
Explaining the modus operandi of the syndicate, the Special CP said that the contraband was transported in containers to port of a neighboring country, from where it landed at different ports of India.
“This time the consignment was first transported from Afghanistan to a neighboring country, from where it was shipped to a Middle-East country to avoid detection by the agencies. From there, the consignment containing the contraband blended with legitimate import goods was further shipped to JNPT, Mumbai,” said the Special CP.
“This consignment was supposed to reach the makeshift factories based in Madhya Pradesh (MP), Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and other States at opportune time for its further extraction or processing to get the final product heroin,” said the Special CP.