Heroin-soaked yarn worth £46m seized in India

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Yarn soaked with heroin derivate seized from a port in India’s western Gujarat state (India’s Press Information Bureau)
Yarn soaked with heroin derivate seized from a port in India’s western Gujarat state (India’s Press Information Bureau)

A yarn consignment that had 90kg of heroin derivative worth $58m (£46m) soaked in it has been seized by authorities in India.

The major drug haul took place on Thursday from Pipavav port in the western Gujarat state, authorities said in a Friday statement.

The container from which the consignment was seized weighed 9,760kg and had been lying at the port for five months with paperwork declaring it contained “thread”.

India’s Anti-Terrorism Squad and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had acted on a tip and investigated the consignment that had 100 “jumbo” bags, including four suspicious bags that were soaked in drugs, said an official press release.

“It appeared that the drug syndicate used this unique modus operandi in which threads were soaked in a solution containing narcotic drug – heroin which was then dried, made into bales and packed in bags,” the government press release said.

To disguise the drug-laced yarn, they were shipped along with other bags that contained bales of ordinary yarn.

“The modus operandi in this case would have required the extraction of Heroin mixed in the threads,” the statement said.

The consignment came from Iran, Ashish Bhatia, a top Gujarat police official, told reporters in state capital Gandhinagar.

The consignment had arrived in a refrigerated container to keep the liquified heroin bonded to the yarn, according to local newspaper Ahmedabad Mirror.

“As soon as we removed the yarn from the refrigerated container, the temperature of the consignment went up and heroin dust fell out of the yarn,” sources told the newspaper.

Authorities had earlier announced two large drug busts from different ports in Gujarat.

They had seized heroin worth $188m (£150m) that was found mixed with gympsum at the Kandla port this month.

In September last year, officials claimed to have impounded nearly three tonnes of Afghan heroin mixed with talc with a street value of around £2bn from the Mundra port.

The seizures are under investigation by the India’s Narcotics Control Bureau.

India’s drug control agencies have boosted vigilance in Gujarat to prevent smuggling through sea routes from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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