New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS): Delhi Police's Special Cell has made one of the biggest seizures of heroin from Mumbai, with the contraband valued at Rs 1,725 crore in the international market, and arrested two Afghan nationals in this connection, a senior police official said Wednesday.
The accused were identified as Mustafa Stanikzai and Rahimullah Rahimi.
Delhi Police's Special Commissioner, Special Cell, H.G.S. Dhaliwal said in a bid to bust the entire transnational drug syndicate, the two accused, who were arrested with record quantity of 312.5 kg methamphetamine and 10 kg heroin on September 3, were put to sustained interrogation.
"Their intense questioning revealed that 17 bags containing licorice roots soaked with heroin, or 350 to 400 gm per kg (amounting to a total of approximate 345 kg of contraband) have been concealed among other bags. The total weight of the consignment was 20,000 kg which was stored at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust, Mumbai," he said in a media briefing.
It was learnt that during preliminary examination that the entire consignment had already been checked but in the process, the bags of the consignment had got damaged and the licorice roots were lying inside the container.
"As the Special Cell team, after obtaining permission from court, started to inspect each and every stick of the consignment on September 16, it was observed that the colour of some sticks of licorice roots were darker than the others," the Special CP said, adding the team was, after several hours, able to detect heroin in all the sticks that were darker in colour which ultimately led to the major drug haul.
According to Dhaliwal, the consignment was first transported from Afghanistan to a neighbouring country, from where it was shipped to a country in the Middle East to avoid detection by the agencies. From there, the consignment containing the contraband blended with legitimate import goods was further shipped to JNPT, Mumbai.
"This consignment was supposed to reach the makeshift factories based in MP, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and other states at opportune time for its further extraction and processing to get the final product heroin," he added.