As if from a movie scene, the police and narcotics force stopped a truck driving to a toll plaza outside Karachi.
When the Sindh Police Special Investigation Unit and the Anti-Narcotics Force did a quick search they found four tonnes of hashish hidden in sacks of coffee beans and sugar. According to the ANF, the hashish was worth Rs40,000 or $5,000 per kilogramme. Two suspects were arrested but the ANF and SIU were not willing to disclose further information as it could complicate the investigation.
“Such a large amount of hashish has never been seized in Pakistan in a joint operation,” said the ANF joint director Lt Colonel Ashaar Rizwan while speaking to journalists at the ANF office in Clifton. “We hope that the arrests will lead us to the source.” He added that this was one of the smoothest joint operations they had ever carried out.
While speaking at the press conference on Monday, SIU SP Khurram Warris said that they did not have the necessary expertise or experience in such cases and had contacted the ANF for help. “The ANF knows everything about narcotics a lot better than us,” he said. “This is why we worked with them.” He did not disclose how the SIU helped the ANF but hinted that they gave the ANF the information about the truck and what was in it. The ANF said that they would split whatever reward they got with the SIU.
Colonel Rizwan told The Express Tribune that smuggling narcotics from upcountry had actually increased in the last couple of years despite the war on terror. He added that the smuggling and drugs were not linked with terrorism.
Waris agreed with Rizwan and said that more drugs were being smuggled into the city now. “These drug dealers and smugglers are doing their work as usual but we are making it difficult for them by stopping them like this,” he said. “The SIU will continue to work with the ANF in narcotics cases. They have the technique and knowhow to deal with these cases.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.