A Pakistani national, Tanveer Iqbal (36), was arrested recently at the Bhandaranayake International Airport in Colombo for possession of one kilogram of heroin.
This is not the first time that Pakistani nationals have been detained at Colombo airport on charges of smuggling narcotics. This year itself, there have been at least two instances when Pakistani nationals were arrested for trying to sneak heroin into the country.
In January, a 46-year old Pakistani national was detained with 2.1 kg heroin, while in April another Pakistani was arrested for possessing 1.2 kgs of the same drug.
As per statistics published by the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB), between the years 2010 and 2014, 129 foreigners have been arrested in Sri Lanka on drug trafficking charges. 47 of them were Pakistanis.
In 2016, at least 16 Pakistanis were arrested on drug trafficking charges.
Based on established connections between drug trafficking and terrorism, most of the heroin brought into the country originate from the Af-Pak region and Sri Lanka is used as a transit point for smuggling the drugs to its final destination- European and U.S. markets.
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