JAMMU, Oct 12: The Director General of Police (DGP) for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Dilbag Singh, today busted a major inter-state narco smuggling operation by apprehending eight narcotics smugglers operating from North Kashmir's Kupwara district, who were trafficking illegal substances to Ludhiana, Punjab.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, the DGP revealed, "Eight accused have so far been arrested, and a major inter-state narco smuggling module has been busted." He disclosed that the roots of this inter-state narco-module extended from Kupwara in North Kashmir to Ludhiana in Punjab.
According to the DGP, four persons were apprehended in Kupwara, and another four in Punjab. The police seized 30 kilograms of cocaine, Rs 5 crore in cash, 40 counterfeit vehicle number plates, passports, and a German-made revolver from the suspects.
The DGP also indicated that preliminary investigations suggest that these narcotics were being funneled across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir to fund and support terrorism.
The breakthrough came when Ramban police acted on specific information and intercepted a vehicle, recovering 30 kilograms of a substance resembling cocaine.
"Although the final report from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) is pending, it appears that the seized substance is cocaine," the DGP said. He said that four people from Kupwara in North Kashmir had been arrested in connection with the case.
"As the investigation progressed, we discovered that the inter-state narco-module had strong links with Kupwara district," the DGP revealed. He pointed out that the Amrohi area in Kupwara was a favored route for narco-smuggling, and the latest consignment had been smuggled through the same route.
The DGP highlighted that 12 cases related to narco-terror had been registered in the Amrohi area of Kupwara. While there was no evidence of narcotics being dropped by drones, credible leads suggested that these illegal substances were physically smuggled. Following the arrest of four individuals from Kupwara, the Jammu and Kashmir police, in collaboration with Punjab police, arrested four more individuals, including the key handler of the drug operation.
In response to queries from the media regarding the counterfeit number plates recovered, the DGP explained that it appeared these plates were used during the transportation of drugs from Kupwara to Punjab. He added, "The drivers of vehicles transporting drugs may have impersonated police officials, as police badges were also found. Furthermore, the vehicle number plates were likely changed at different points along the route to evade detection."
The DGP said that investigation is ongoing, and more arrests were likely in connection with the inter-state narco module.