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3 Afghans held with heroin worth Rs 10 crore

Three Afghan nationals have been arrested at the Delhi airport for allegedly trying to smuggle fine-quality heroin worth Rs 100 million in the international market, reports Sidhartha Roy.
By Sidhartha Roy | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2008 11:34 PM IST

Three Afghan siblings were arrested from the arrival terminal of Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday by the Air Customs Preventive Unit for trying to smuggle in high-quality heroin. The Customs department seized 10 kilogram heroin from them, worth about Rs 10 crore in the international market and about Rs 50 lakh in Delhi.

The arrested include two women, who had concealed five kg each of the contraband in their waist belt. This was detected during a search when they arrived in the national capital last night in an Ariana flight from Kabul, a senior customs official said.

The Customs Department personnel zeroed in on the trio as their movement aroused suspicion and during subsequent checking, the contraband was seized and the three arrested, he said.

“This once again proves that Delhi has become a major transit point for the drug business. Unlike earlier, the West African drug syndicates active in Delhi are now trying to contact Afghan suppliers directly, cutting down the middlemen and reducing the drug’s cost,” the official said.

The arrested were identified as Sakhi Dad and his two sisters Afghan Gul and Khanom Gul, who were sent to 14 days judicial remand. This is the first time that women from Afghanistan have been caught in drug trafficking case at the airport.

In his statement, Sakhi Dad told the officials that he asked his sisters to wear the belt and put a burkha so that no one can detect the belts, Kumar claimed.

The contraband was stuffed in the cavity of the belt, which was provided to Sakhi Dad by one Mirza, who lives in Kabul. Mirza promised them US$ 3,000 in lieu of transporting the drugs. The contraband was to be delivered to someone at a hotel in South Delhi’s Jungpura locality.

The trio had received US$ 800 in advance and the same was recovered from them, Kumar said.

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