Jalandhar, Nov 30 (UNI) The Border Security Force (BSF) has seized 99 kg of heroin being smuggled from across the border in Punjab this year so far.
This was disclosed by Punjab Frontier Inspector-General Arvind Ranjan, while talking to mediapersons a day before the BSF Raising Day here today.
''This elite force, which is manning the 553 km long international border in Punjab with Pakistan has so far seized narcotics worth Rs 99 crore in the international market and also arrested smugglers carrying the contrabands from different parts of the border area,'' he said adding that last year 67 kg of heroin was seized, wheareas in 2006, it was 20 kg.
Quoting a World Drug Report being prepared by the UN, Mr Ranjan said Afganistan is the largest heroin producer in the world with 92 per cent of the total production.
The major consumers of the heroin and opium produced in Afganistan are the neighbouring countries like Pakistan, India, Russia and Iran, whereas, drug addicts in Western countries prefer cocaine to heroin, he informed.
In the last one year, with the introduction of latest seeds, use of fertilizers and other techniques, the production of heroin has increased by 50 per cent, he said. Nearly 6000 MT of opium was produced, which he said was converted to 660 MT of heroin.
Quoting the UN report, he said, ''Only 26 per cent of the heroin produced is intercepted by the govenment agencies, whereas, the remaining 74 per cent of the contraband reach consumers. However, the seizure in cocaine is much more at 42 per cent.'' To further strengthen the border, he said the deployment pattern of the force was changed as per the information and requirement of the hour and an element of surprise was also introduced, while guarding the fence from the front and behind.
The introduction of the latest and high tech equipments like night vision devices, night vision goggles and state-of-the-art hand held thermal imagers were found to be indispensable for night operations, he said.
''The BSF is integrating the border population in the task of border management by arranging regular meetings with border village farmers for close coordination,''he siad.
He informed that as per the demand of the villagers of the border areas, the BSF has decided to organise recruitment rallies in one of the border districts on rotation basis for their benefit.