Smuggling on the rise as 379 kg of Pakistani heroin seized in Punjab in 2012

Pakistani heroin seized

New Delhi–At least 379 kg of heroin originating from Pakistan has been seized in Punjab this year, parliament was told Tuesday.

“There has been reporting of smuggling/trafficking of South West Asian heroin from across the border. This year, 378.785 kilograms of heroin sourced from across the border has been seized in Punjab.

This is greater than what was seized in 2009 (97.177 kg), 2010 (171.150 kg) and 2011 (180.244 kg),” Union Minister of State for Home M. Ramachandran told the Lok Sabha.

Ramachandran was responding to a question by Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal on whether Punjab has become a hub for cross-border drugs smuggling.

The minister also told the house that 209.89 kg of opium, 19.22 kg of hashish (charas) and 1,310.67 kg of marijuana (ganja) has been seized in Punjab this year.

The minister said that steps were being taken to curb the drug menace in the state.

The issue of drug smuggling and addiction in Punjab attracted political controversy when Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi recently said that 70 per cent of the state’s population were into drugs. His statement was strongly criticised by the state’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, especially Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal.—IANS