PESHAWAR: Just days after the decision to allow overland trade from Afghanistan to India was taken, Customs Intelligence and the Anti Narcotics Force claim to have busted a drugs smuggling racket. Officials said they recovered 15 kg of heroin worth millions of rupees packed into semi-precious stones, on their way from Afghanistan to India.
Deputy collector customs Rashid Habib said holes had been drilled into lapiz lazulis, which were then packed with packets of heroin.
“The stones were then sealed with chemicals so the joints could not be detected and then packed into sacks,” he said. Officials have counted a total of 284 sacks.
The 16-ton consignment, said Habib, was in a container en route to Jaipur in India when it was intercepted by CI and ANF officials, who decided to break open a stone. “Semi-precious stones are transported to India from Pakistan and Afghanistan but this is the first time we checked the cargo and the first incident in which drugs were recovered from such a consignment,” he said.
According to Habib, exporter Abdul Aziz and customs clearing agent Ayaz have been taken into custody and the ANF is to register a case against them.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2010.