KARACHI: Pakistan said that it had seized its largest ever heroin haul on Wednesday, impounding 375 kilograms (825 pounds) of the narcotic worth an estimated $44 million on the international market.
About 108 kilograms hidden in matchboxes was seized late Monday from a container at the Karachi port and another 267 kilograms of heroin in a follow up raid in Quaid Abad neighbourhood, officials said.
"We have arrested five people and during investigations they have confessed that they were involved in drugs smuggling for a long time," an Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) official told AFP.
The official said the heroin was smuggled from neighbouring Afghanistan through Pakistan's northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
"This is the biggest heroin seizure in the history of Pakistan," the ANF said in a statement, putting the value of the stash at $1.76 million on the local market and $44 million on the international market.
Pakistan has more than four million drug addicts in a population of 176 million, according to figures compiled by the ANF, which is responsible for investigating and prosecuting drug offences.
Opium poppy is grown on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, a region infamous for Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked strongholds, and branded the most dangerous place in the world for Americans by US President Barack Obama.
Pakistan has a 2,500-kilometre (1,560-mile) porous border with Afghanistan, which supplies 90 percent of the world's opium used to make heroin