Customs officers have seized heroin worth over Rs 600 crore being smuggled into the country at the international airport here in the last six months, officials said on Monday.
A total of 20 accused, 18 foreigners and two Indians, were arrested in 14 cases registered between December 2020 and June this year, they said.
Around 86 kg of heroin, estimated to be worth more than Rs 600 crore in the international market, was seized in these cases, the officials said.
Of the 20 foreigners, six were Afghan nationals and 12 from African countries including Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa.
The recent seizures were the result of the enhanced surveillance at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport mounted by customs officials.
"These are unprecedented seizures at the airport and the result of the increased surveillance maintained by the field formation under the supervision of senior officials, the in-charge of the IGI airport. All officers are alert round the clock to check any incident of smuggling at the airport," a senior officer said, crediting the success to "team efforts".
He said the seizures signal a worrying demand for the contraband in India, especially at a time when regular international flights are suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Giving details of one of the biggest seizures effected last month, the officer said heroin worth Rs 126 crore was seized from two South African men at the airport.
The duo were intercepted on June 27 upon their arrival from Johannesburg via Doha, he said.
Heroin weighing approximately 18 kg, worth around Rs 126 crore, was seized from them. The contraband was ingeniously concealed inside their checked-in trolley bags, the officials said, adding that both men were arrested.
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