The police here on Monday seized 72-kg poppy seeds that are suspected to have been smuggled from Pakistan and were hidden in the fuel tank of a truck while being smuggled into the state form Jammu and Kashmir.
The truck from which the narcotics were seized belongs to a Jammu and Kashmir resident, who was himself at the wheel when the police intercepted the truck. The truck (PB 07 N 9796) was intercepted by a patrol team near Pul Pukhta in Tanda. Sacks containing 72kg poppy seeds were found hidden in a part of the fuel tank.
The occupants of the truck, Mohammed Rafi Awan and Sayyed Ali Hussain, both residents of Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir, have been arrested. "Investigations are afoot to confirm the origin of the consignment. There is possibility that it could have been smuggled from across the border," said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Narinder Bhargav.
He said that the arrested persons were part of an inter-state gang that smuggled narcotics to Punjab through the Jammu and Kashmir route. "The couriers used innovative means to smuggle the contraband. In the present case, the accused had modified the fuel tank to hide the narcotics," he said."There were three compartments in the tank, one contained diesel and the other two poppy bags," the SSP said.
Police claimed that Rafi had been in the drug trade for the past 5-6 years. "We will seek the assistance of J&K police in investigations," the SSP said. The accused have been produced in court and sent in a day's police custody. A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has registered at the Tanda police station.