With its “decisive” war against drugs entering the sixth month, Punjab Police said that they have arrested 8,755 drug smugglers, including 1,244 “big fish” since July and registered a total of 6,667 FIRs out of which 746 are related to commercial quantities.
Inspector General of Police, Headquarters Sukhchain Singh Gill,addressing his weekly Press Conference said that the Police teams have recovered 325.55 kg heroin from across the state after carrying out cordon and search operations in drug-affected areas besides laying checkposts at vulnerable routes across the state.
Additionally, 147.5 kg heroin was recovered by Punjab Police teams from ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra, taking the total effective recovery of heroin to 473.05 kg in just five months.
Apart from seizing a big haul of heroin, Gill said that police have also recovered 350 kg opium, 355 kg Ganja, 211 quintals of poppy husk, and 28.96 lakh tablets/capsules/ injections/vials of pharma opioids from across the state, while also seizing Rs 5.80 crore of drug money from the possession of drug smugglers arrested in these five months.
He said that the Punjab Police teams in coordination with the Border Security Force (BSF) have dealt a major blow to the cross-border smuggling after recovering 15.34 kg heroin dropped via drones in just a week. The police have also recovered four drones.
A hexacopter drone carrying six packets of heroin, weighing 6.68 kg, was recovered in the jurisdiction of Border Outpost Harbhajan in Khemkaran on November 29. On the next day, a broken quadcopter drone was recovered from the area of village Van Tara Singh in Khalra. Similarly, another hexacopter drone carrying five packets of heroin, weighing 5.60 kg, was recovered from Khemkaran area in Tarn Taran on December 2, while, a quadcopter drone loaded with three packets of heroin, weighing 3.06 kg, was recovered from area of Border Outpost (BOP) Kalia in Tarn Taran on the next intervening night.
Gill said that the follow-up investigations into the recovery of 13 kg heroin from two Rajasthan-based drug smugglers from Amritsar on November 2, led to the arrest of two more aides. Based on their interrogation, the police, with support of the BSF, recovered 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 10 foreign-made .30 bore pistols from the border area of Ferozepur.
He said that in last one week, the police have arrested 247 drug smugglers after registering 197 FIRs, and recovered 45.55 kg heroin, 16.62 kg opium, 4.80 kg ganja, 3.60 quintals of poppy husk, and 28,305 tablets, capsules, injections of pharma opioids besides recovering Rs 55.25 lakh drug money from their possession.
The IG said that with 15 more proclaimed offenders (POs)/absconders in NDPS cases arrested in the last one week, the total number of arrests reached 562 since the special drive to arrest POs/absconders was started on July 5.
Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab Gaurav Yadav had given strict instructions to all the CPs/SSPs to investigate backward and forward linkages minutely in each and every case, especially related to drug recoveries, even if they recover a meagre amount of drugs.