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Afghan national among two held for Gujarat heroin seizure

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

An Afghan national was one of the two persons who were arrested Saturday by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in connection with the last month's seizure of 100 kg from a boat off the coast.

In a joint operation, the ATS, the Guard and the seized a huge quantity of and arrested nine Iranian nationals on March 27.

The ATS Saturday said it arrested Mohammed Abdul Salaam Kunni, a resident of Kasargod in Kerala, and Niyamat Khan Ahmedzai, a resident of in

"Interrogation of the nine Iranian nationals and technical analysis revealed that the consignment was to be received by an Indian fishing boat, and further to be brought to the Indian coast," the ATS stated in a release.

Ahmedzai was tasked with carrying the consignment to and hand it over to Kunni, who was supposed to take it to Chennai and Mallpuram, from where it would have been smuggled outside from various ports and airports, it said.

As per preliminary investigation, Ahmedzai was sent to by a narcotics syndicate in December 2018 on a medical visa. He was staying in Lajpat Nagar in

"This was his third visit to He was involved in smuggling in the past as well. Ahmedzai was instructed by one Haji Nadar, also a resident of Afghanistan, to contact and hand over the consignment to him, for which he was paid Rs 8 lakh," the ATS said.

"Interrogation of the Iranian nationals revealed that one had given them this consignment to be brought to India. Badruddinn Shaikh, who is a merchant from Aurangabad and whose name was disclosed in the information received by the ATS, has been brought to the ATS for questioning," it said.

As per the agency, was supposed to take the heroin in small consignments to Chennai and Kasargod for smuggling it outside the country.

The heroin syndicate originated from Pakistan, where opium obtained from was being converted into heroin, it added.

It further said the Pakistani syndicate was forced to find new routes to smuggle heroin outside that country because of increased vigil by a Combined Task Force-150 (a multi-national coalition naval task force) in the North Arabian Sea and Horn of area.

"Further, due to surplus production of opium in the Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan, the supply has increased from It (the syndicate) was exploring the coast of to smuggle heroin in India, and recent seizures of 100 kg and 5 kg heroin in reflects these efforts by the syndicate," the ATS stated.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 13 2019. 18:00 IST