In a record catch, sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) near Amritsar seized top quality Afghan heroin worth over Rs 110 crore in the international market which was smuggled from Pakistan.
Acting on a tip-off and in a discrete operation code-named 'Black Panther', DRI officials recovered 75 kgs of the contraband, which is one of the biggest seizures by any agency in the past 15 years.
Based on the intelligence inputs, a surveillance was maintained by the DRI sleuths across some villages in the border areas near the city.
During the wee hours on Wednesday, officers noted suspicious movement of three motorcycles near one of the border villages and when signalled to stop, the bikers tried to flee, a senior DRI official said.
He said a scuffle ensued during which the officers were able to overpower one of the smugglers and recover 74.55 kg heroin of high grade Afghan origin valued at nearly Rs 110 crore in the illicit international market.
Taking advantage of the darkness in the area, the persons managed to flee leaving behind two motorcycles, a Turkish origin pistol and a magazine containing 12 live cartridges.
Further investigations to unravel the whole plot are on, the official said.
In November last year, 52 kg of Afghan-origin heroin had been seized by the DRI in Delhi which had also arrested an Afghan national who had come to India for the specific purpose of smuggling.
In February, 10 kg of heroin had been recovered from a person here followed by seizure of 29 kg of heroin in March in Delhi.
Sources said over the years, Afghan heroin has been smuggled from across the Indo-Pak border from where it moves towards Delhi and from where it is smuggled out to European and other countries where its illicit market value is estimated to be more than Rs 1.5 crore per kg.