Major Afghan-Nigerian heroin cartel busted

Vikash Aiyappa

New Delhi, Sep 14: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) claimed to have busted an Afghan-Nigerian heroin cartel with the arrest of six foreigners in Delhi and seized narcotics worth Rs 30 crore.

A senior official said four Afghan and two Nigerian nationals have been arrested over the past few days by the NCB.

Under a latest drive against international drug cartels, the first to be arrested by NCB was an Afghan who arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi from Kandahar.
Two other men from Afghanistan were subsequently held and it was found that the three were carrying 253 heroin pellets in their body.

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The trio led to another Afghan national who was supposed to take the delivery from them, the official said.

Two Nigerians, part of the Afghan-Nigerian drug cartel, were apprehended from Vasant Kunj and Uttam Nagar areas.

Over 8 kg of heroin estimated to be worth Rs 30 crore in the international market has been seized from them, he said.

"This successful operation is a result of increased focus of NCB on international drug networks especially Afghan heroin supply network who are working in collaboration with Nigerian drug traffickers."

"It has been noticed that heroin, originating mostly from Afghanistan is smuggled to other parts of the world by various modes of concealment in baggage, various items and as in this case swallowed by drug mules," NCB Deputy Director General (Northern Range) S K Jha said.

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India, he said, is not only a market but also the transit point for drug cartels and hence the syndicates based in Afghanistan have continuously tried to smuggle in heroin into the country.

"Further investigation in coordination with foreign authorities is being conducted to identify other persons involved in the illicit drug syndicate," Jha said.

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