On border vigil, BSF sniffs out heroin aplenty
Amritsar: The Border Security Force (BSF) has a new menacing enemy on the 553-km border with Pakistan in Punjab - drugs.
The BSF drive to check drugs smuggling, especially heroin, has resulted in the highest ever seizure of heroin - nearly 290 kg - in 2012. The contraband was said to be valued at over Rs 1,450 crore in the international market.
In January this year, the BSF confiscated over 25 kg of heroin, worth over Rs 125 crore. Ten kg was seized from the Amritsar sector January 22 followed by a seizure of 15 kg from the Gurdaspur sector two days later. The seizures of 2012 surpassed all recent records.
The seizure by the BSF in 2008 was over 100 kg. It rose in 2009 to about 120 kg, dipped slightly the next year to about 115 kg, and in 2011 it was only around 68 kg. "We recovered 288 kg of heroin in Punjab in 2012," BSF's Punjab frontier Inspector General Aditya Mishra said.
In fact, the BSF seized over 200 kg of heroin in the first eight months of 2012, leaving BSF officials baffled at the sudden increase in smuggling from Pakistan. "Smugglers from both sides (India and Pakistan) are involved. We killed nine Pakistani smugglers and arrested 19 Indians in the past year," a BSF officer told IANS.