Police in New Delhi arrested five suspects, including two Afghan nationals, on charges of smuggling 150 kilograms of drugs, Indian news agencies reported on Friday.
The drugs worth 600 crores (more than $87 million), according to India’s News18.
The accused were trying to set up a full-fledged reconstitution factory in Delhi, Manishi Chandra, DCP Special Cell, said, as quoted by News18.
The modus operandi, according to police, involved soaking of jute bags, meant for carrying cumin and other household spices from Afghanistan to India, in a heroin-laden solution.
“Every empty jute bag actually concealed a dried solution of heroin in its fibers. Once the spices were removed, each jute bag would yield one kilogram of heroin,” Chandra said.
The expose has revealed the sinister side of the spice and condiment trade between India and Afghanistan as the drugs were being smuggled in the garb of trade, the report said.
“The Afghanistan-Pakistan drug cartels have recently adopted this novel method whereby the crude heroin is dissolved in a preservative solution and ordinary jute bags meant for carrying spices and condiments are soaked and dried in this heroin solution,” Chandra said as quoted by News18.
News18 reports that the two arrested Afghan nationals were identified as Rahmat Gul Shinwari and Akhtar Mohammad Shinwari, from Zakir Nagar area. The two are chemical and mechanical experts.
The News18 says in its report that the operation is underway and more arrests are expected.