To avoid narcotics from being seized during raids, smugglers in Punjab now conceal drugs in ponds and fields instead of their houses, according to the Punjab Police.
Highlighting trends in drug smuggling, Punjab Inspector General of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill said drug smugglers nowadays prefer smuggling the drug "on foot” to prevent arrest.
He said drug smugglers also prefer to sell drugs in small quantities to ensure that even if they are caught their case should not be considered as commercial.
“Instead of concealing drug consignments at their houses, they have been using ponds and fields as safe storage for concealing drugs to avoid recovery during raids,” said Gill here.
Following the disclosures of the arrested drug smugglers that the supply of drugs is either from the area of villages such as Chhanni-Beli in Himachal Pradesh, and those in adjoining Pathankot, or from neighbouring Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, border district police chiefs have been asked to work in closer coordination with police from these states, said Gill.
The IGP said a new modus operandi was also noticed in Malerkotla where a drug smuggler, identified as Rohit Sahi alias Goldy of Amargarh, camouflaged in army uniform, was found selling heroin. Police recovered 50 grams of heroin from his car, he said.
Gill said that the Punjab Police in two interstate operations conducted last week managed to effectively recover 147.5 kg heroin from states including Gujarat and Maharashtra.
These two recoveries are in addition to the 7.89 kg heroin recovered in the state last week, taking the cumulative quantity of heroin seized to 155.39 kg, said Gill here.
In a joint operation with Gujarat ATS on July 12, the Punjab Police recovered 75 Kg heroin from a container at Mundra Port in Gujarat, while, in a similar operation with Maharashtra Police on July 15, they seized 72.5Kg heroin from a container at the Nhava Sheva Port in Mumbai.
The IGP said Police arrested 565 drug smugglers and suppliers registering 453 first information reports (FIRs), including 34 commercial, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act across the state in the last one week.
He said that with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann having given the Punjab Police a free hand to wage war against drugs, extensive drives have been launched to combat the drug menace from the border state.
Apart from recovering a big haul of heroin, Police have also recovered Rs 16.29 lakh in cash, 15 kg opium, 37 kg ganja, 16 quintals of poppy husk, and 64,000 intoxicant pills or capsules among other drugs in several cordon-and-search operations in the drug-affected areas.
(With PTI inputs)