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NCB seizes drugs worth over Rs 10 cr, arrests 19 within first half of Aug

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: August 17, 2019  | 00:32 IST

(Eds: Updating with additional inputs) New Delhi, Aug 16 (PTI) The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) intensified the heat on drug traffickers in the run-up to the Independence Day, carrying out operations across the country that resulted in the arrest of 19 persons and seizure of drugs worth more than Rs 10 crore, officials said on Friday. Over the last 15 days, multiple synchronised operations in coordination with other agencies were carried out across the country on the basis of inputs received by various NCB units under the supervision of its headquarters, they added. The government has recently given the additional charge of the anti-narcotics agency to Rakesh Asthana, a senior Gujarat-cadre IPS officer who had led the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the CBI probing several high-profile bank fraud cases, including the one involving fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya. The NCB had received multiple inputs about smugglers' plans to funnel drugs into the country, following which the operations were chalked out before the Independence Day on August 15, sources said. "The NCB Chandigarh Zonal Unit effected seizures of 2.7-kg opium and 6.14-kg heroin from Ludhiana, Amritsar and Firozepur (Punjab) on August 2. The team also arrested five drug traffickers," an official spokesperson said. A seizure of 1.945 kg of hashish from a place near Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh was made on August 5 by the NCB's Mandi sub-unit, which also arrested two drug traffickers from Haryana's Palwal, he added. "The drug was sourced from Himachal Pradesh and was supposed to reach Haryana. The hashish was packed in brown tape an concealed in a white carry bag. It was being transported in a Hyundai Creta car, which was also confiscated," the spokesperson said. A Suriname-based drug trafficker was arrested at the Mumbai airport on August 2 and cocaine weighing over two kilograms was seized from his possession, he said, adding that the consignment was being smuggled from Suriname to Mumbai via the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. "The NCB Lucknow Zonal Unit seized 10.55-kg opium and arrested five Nepalese nationals, including two women, on August 9. The source of the seized drug was Nepal and the suspected destination was Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh," the spokesperson said. Hashish weighing 8.25 kg was also seized by the Lucknow unit, which arrested two Nepalese nationals in a joint operation with the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on August 11, he added. "On specific information, NCB Chennai seized 62.60 kg of ganja concealed in 26 packets from the Chennai Egmore railway station on August 10. Two drug traffickers from Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu were arrested in the said case. The ganja was procured from Visakhapatnam," the spokesperson said. The Indore Zonal Unit of the NCB intercepted a vehicle on August 13 from a spot near the Devgardia bypass in Indore, Madhya Pradesh and arrested two traffickers with over 120 kg of ganja, which was being brought from Chhattisgarh's Sukma, a Naxal-dominated area. "The aforesaid cases were the result of increased interdiction efforts against drug trafficking by the NCB. The concerted and coordinated efforts of the NCB resulted in a total seizure of 13.25 kg of opium, 2.09 kg of cocaine, 10.105 kg of hashish, 182.6 kg of ganja and 13.25 kg of heroin," the spokesperson said. The NCB does not give any official estimate of the market value of seized narcotics, but sources in the agency said the seizures were worth well over Rs 10 crore. PTI NES/ABS RC

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