Karachi: 125kg heroin seized, 2 held
KARACHI: The Model Customs Collectorate of Exports seized 125 kilograms of heroin, worth over a billion rupees, concealed in a consignment of onions destined for Malaysia, said officials on Friday. It was the first time that heroin was recovered from a consignment of onions, said Collector Mohammad Ibrahim Vighio while speaking at a press conference at the Old Customs House.
He said a refrigerated container having a gross weight of 28 tonnes and containing 5,400 five-kilo bags of onions was brought for export to Malaysia at the Pakistan International Container Terminal.
The official said the documents filed for purpose of scrutiny on May 9 showed that both exporter and clearing agent were new in the field of exports. This caused suspicion, he added.
He said it was found during a detailed examination that some bags in the container had small onion-like pouches, which were stuffed with balloons containing brown heroin. Subsequently, he said, all the 5,400 bags were emptied and examined that led to the recovery of 830 pouches, each weighing between 145 and 155 grams.
Mr Vighio said an initial test conducted on the spot showed that the substance was heroin. Its total weight was 125 kilos, he said.
Further scrutiny of the documents revealed that the exporter, M/s Yasoob Agencies, had brought goods for export for the first time. The profile of the clearing agent, M/s Al-Muqtadir Services, indicated that it had been dealing in imports.
The clearing agent, Khalil Muqtadir, and an employee, Sajjad, had been arrested, the official said, adding that the consignment was handed over to the agent by two persons, Azhar and Jaffer.
Their cellphones were found switched off, the collector said.
During interrogation, it emerged that the container was loaded at a Jangal Goth warehouse, near Sabzi Mandi, off the Superhighway.
The case had been registered and investigation was under way, the collector said. “We generally don’t pay much attention to refrigerated fruit exports, and the suspects have taken advantage of this policy,” he remarked.
Previous attempts to use potato and orange consignments for smuggling narcotics were also foiled by the customs authorities, he said.