Peshawar: ANF nails 8 heroin smugglers in guise of pilgrims
PESHAWAR: As reported by The News on Sunday, in one of the most embarrassing drug trafficking bids, eight intending pilgrims were arrested at the Peshawar International Airport for smuggling heroin to Saudi Arabia.
An official of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) said they had been tipped off that a group of criminals would smuggle heroin in capsules in the guise of pilgrims.
“Acting on the tip-off, we beefed up security at the Haji Camp in Hayatabad as well as the Peshawar International Airport to thwart the bid.
During action, we arrested two persons from Haji Camp and another six from the airport when they were just ready to leave for Jeddah through a PIA flight PK-2037,” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ANF Director General Brigadier Ameer Khan told reporters.
The alleged smugglers were identified as Wahid of Mardan, Said Wali of Orakzai Agency, Ghulam Mahmood, Khan Mir and Mohammad Riaz from Mianwali, Mohammad Saeed from Khushab and Ishaq and Tanvir Hussain from Sheikhupura districts of the Punjab.
All the accused had shaved their heads and were posing to be leaving for Haj through a private Haj operator. The official said the accused, immediately after being taken into custody, were shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) for recovery of the heroin-filled capsules from their stomachs.
Another official said that not all of them had ingested the heroin capsules but some were just part of the gang. The X-rays and ultrasound tests of all these accused were carried out to identify those who had swallowed the drugs.
Doctors at the LRH said that over 120 capsules had so far been recovered from some of the accused while the process was still going on. A doctor said that normally the capsule delivery process takes up to 30 hours.
The accused are given food and liquid and are treated to deliver the heroin-filled capsules. In case any capsule opens in the stomach, it can cause even death or other complications.
Saudi Arabia is among those countries, which award strictest punishment i.e. death to heroin smugglers. Several Pakistanis have been awarded death sentence there after their alleged involvement in smuggling heroin or hashish in the past.