A day after union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde visited the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari to take stock of trade and security arrangements, Indian customs officials recovered 105-kg heroin valued at Rs. 525 crore in the international market along with 500 cartridges, from a Pakistani goods train.
The seizure, which was made from wagon No 66938 of the cement-laden train, is being seen as one of the biggest ever.
As per customs officials, the train crossed into India on Sunday; after a halt at Attari, it was brought to the Amritsar railway station for unloading.
Deputy commissioner, customs, Vijay Bahadur Singh said, "The train reached Amritsar on Monday. During a preliminary checking, it was found that seals on one side of the wagon were broken. Our men started unloading the wagon, which had 488 cement bags of the elephant brand and four other bags. When these four bags were searched, 105 packets (1 kg each) of heroin and 10 boxes with 50 cartridges each were recovered."
He said they were taking up the matter with the Pakistani customs authorities, adding that the cement in the wagon was imported by a company named Mohan Communications. The importer will be quizzed, Singh added. The customs official said the wagon was sealed when the train was checked at Attari, but it was found broken when the train reached Amritsar railway station.
Indian cement importers had stopped trade for 25 days after two seizures of heroin were made from cement-laden trains from Pakistan: 5 kg on June 2 and 7 kg on July 16. The cement import through the rail route had resumed after Pakistan assured that there would be metal sealing of wagons.