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Updated December 17th, 2023 at 15:44 IST

Pakistan eyes Poonch as ‘Drug Transit Route’; Police seizes over Rs 400 crore heroin in 2023

After a crackdown on terror funding by Pakistan, Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir is being used as a transit route for drugs by the neighbouring country.

Gursimran Singh
Poonch Police team attached property of Drug smugglers in border area
Poonch Police team attached property of Drug smugglers in border area | Image:Republic TV
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Poonch: With the struggling terror financing system, Pakistan and its terror handlers in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) are now relying on narcotics to finance its terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The attempts of Pakistan have heightened to such an extent that over Rs 400 crore worth of narcotics have been seized in the district of Poonch itself.

Sharing details with Republic, Senior Superintendent of Police Vinay Sharma, Poonch, said that there have been regular attempts by Pakistan to push drugs into the Indian Territory. More than 87 kilograms of heroin have been recovered by the joint security force this year alone, he added.

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"We are not restricting our actions only to arrest those who are involved in narcotics smuggling but also to attach their properties and vehicles that are either proceeds of crime or involved in such activities. We are now acting on big drug deals. We will continue to act like this, and many such properties will be seized in the coming days," Sharma said.

It is pertinent to mention that over a dozen major attempts of narcotics smuggling have been foiled by Jammu and Kashmir Police in Poonch district in 2023.

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Big Fish from the Valley booked

Poonch Police in its statement said that it has attached a residential house and a JCB excavator with Rs 90 lakh for involvement in narcotics smuggling. Poonch Police has also booked eight "Big Fishes" under the PIT- NDPS (Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988) for their involvement in running the drug trade in the region. The names of those booked include Shakar Din, Mohd Yasin, Mehmood Hussain, Zafar Iqbal and Talib Hussain.

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Poonch being used as transit for drugs by Pakistan

An official from the intelligence agency said, "Pakistan has set its sights on utilizing the region of Poonch as a potential transit route for drugs. It shows Pakistan's intention to facilitate the transportation of narcotics to areas spanning Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab. The heightened crackdown on terror funding in J&K, which has seemingly pressured Pakistan to funnel approximately Rs 1,000 crore through the drug-trafficking route, reflects a worrying trend in the region's security landscape.”

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The crackdown on Pakistan financing arms of the terror groups has been intensified in such a manner by Indian agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the State Investigation Agency, that terror groups are feeling the heat. 

A dedicated unit of NIA, named as the Terror Finance Unit, is tackling all cases in Jammu & Kashmir where traces of funds for terror activities have been found in investigation.

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Published December 17th, 2023 at 14:10 IST

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