Hyderabad: An investigation by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has found a Taliban connection with drug smuggling to the West via Hyderabad and other Indian cities. Several heroin consignments have been discovered at airports in the past few weeks, including three in Hyderabad alone. Apparently, heroin is sourced from Afghanistan and sent to Australia and other western countries via Mozambique, Johannesburg, Doha, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and New Delhi. All three mules booked in Hyderabad came from African countries.
‘High-quality heroin, a trademark of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, is being smuggled into Mozambique. It then travels to Johannesburg, Doha and Indian cities before being sent to Australia and other destinations. South Africans are being avoided (by smugglers), and they are using other Africans to avoid agents in Johannesburg. The Taliban are the source, but the operation is carried out by African drug cartels. It is possible that what is caught at airports is just the tip of the iceberg. Seaports are a major concern’, said a senior DRI official.
According to the official, drug traffickers use circuitous routes to reach Australia, the US, and Europe from Afghanistan. Small boats transport the consignment from Afghanistan to Pakistan’s southwest coast to Mozambique. ‘With satellite imagery, it is also not possible to detect the movement of these boats. It finally reaches Johannesburg by road from Mozambique’, he added.
A Zambian was arrested with 3.2 kg of heroin worth Rs 21 crore at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on July 19. DRI seized 3 kg of heroin worth Rs 19.5 crore from a Tanzanian passenger arriving from Johannesburg via Doha on June 21. On June 6, 12 kg of heroin worth Rs 78 crore was seized at the airport from two women from Uganda and Zambia, who were traveling from Johannesburg via Doha.