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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

A transit point for heroin?

Law andorder Drug-peddlers are using the Kerala route to transport heroin sourced from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to the Tamil Nadu coast, says G. Anand

The city has become a transit point for heroin consignments smuggled into India from Pakistan for shipment to Sri Lanka from the Tamil Nadu coast, according to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials. In the past four months, the NCB had intercepted 17.5 kg of heroin valued at Rs. 17.5 crores from Thampanoor alone.

On October 29, 2004, the NCB stopped a car bearing Tamil Nadu registration plate in front of the Thampanoor Central Railway station. Nearly 5.5 kg of the drug was found concealed under the front seat of the vehicle. The three passengers, all hailing from Tamil Nadu, were arrested.

On February 9, the NCB arrested two persons as they were about to board a bus to Madurai from the Thampanoor KSRTC bus stand. One of them was carrying a suitcase with a false bottom in which 2.5 kg of heroin was concealed, an official said.

Around 10.30 p.m. on April 1, the NCB arrested three persons, including a 26-year-old Sri Lankan national, from the bus stand on the charge of smuggling 9.5 kg of heroin.

A senior NCB official based in Chennai said that with the NCB turning the heat on Tamil Nadu, drug-smugglers were using the Kerala route to transport heroin sourced from the border districts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to the Tamil Nadu coast.

It is suspected that the drug is taken to Sri Lanka in fishing boats from coastal areas of Tuticorin and Kanyakumari. The official said that a huge network of carriers facilitated the drug trade. The NCB suspects that the city is the point where the heroin consignments are handed over to carriers hailing from Tamil Nadu. "We know that the drug is taken in large quantities in buses to Tamil Nadu from the Thampanoor KSRTC stand. Only a small fraction of the smuggled drug is intercepted," he said.

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