Seven people were arrested after the Narcotics Control Bureau busted an international unit involved in heroin trafficking in Delhi on Sunday. Around 2 kg of heroin was seized in the case, which is linked to an approximate total 12 kg of the drugs worth Rs 48 crore in the international market.
Two other parcels, the quantities of which are unknown, have been traced and are expected to be seized soon. An African national and one Burmese national are among those arrested.
The syndicate's mastermind has been found to be operating the unit from outside the country. They had created "various layers of logistics" and utilised fake documents. "The unique modus operandi of operating in various layers through courier has been uncovered," NCB said. Controlled delivery proceedures were among the ways in which the drug module functioned.
"To circumvent the current situation of controlled international passenger flights, the mastermind and the syndicate involved were exploiting the international courier route,"the agency's Deputy Director (Operations) K P S Malhotra said in a statement.
The operation began early this month with the seizure of a parcel, originating from South Africa, containing 970gm of heroin from a courier service in the national capital.
"In order to unearth the full trail, NCB chief Rakesh Asthana issued an order to initiate the controlled delivery procedure to the Delhi zonal unit of the agency to track the beneficiaries of the seized parcel.
"The controlled delivery mechanism empowers NCB to keep the parcel delivery alive, even after seizing the contraband and replacing the same with the dummy parcel," Malhotra said.
Under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the NCB director general is authorised to order a controlled delivery operation to unravel all layers of a drug cartel or syndicate.
The parcel led the agency to arrest Indian nationals identified as Wahid, Mohsin, Shahjahan, Hanif and Munnasir from a hotel in the Mahipalpur area of Delhi, Malhotra said.
Their interrogation led the NCB to another parcel containing about 980 gms of heroin. Later, a lady from Myanmar and an African were also arrested.
"Two live parcels are also being identified and they will be seized in the near future. The credentials of the Burmese and the African national are being verified.
"The international value of the seized heroin including the one kept in the yet-to-be seized parcels is estimated to be more than Rs 48 crore," the NCB officer said.(With inputs from PTI)