In one of the biggest heroin hauls at a time, Mizoram Excise and Narcotics department officials seized 4 kilos and 85 grams of heroin at Bawngkawn area in the capital Aizawl city and arrested two non-locals, department spokesperson Peter Zohmingthanga said on Monday.
Zohmingthanga said that the contraband was seized at around 10.30pm on Sunday from the possession of Abu Saleh Mohammad Saiyd Uddin, 25, resident of Defolala, Karimganj district of Assam and Samir Akhtar Laskar, 30, resident of Gabindapur, Cachar district of Assam.
A Tata pickup mini truck, bearing Assam registration, used for transportation of the drugs was detained along with the two accused persons.
The accused told their interrogators that the contraband was lifted from Myanmar and to be transported to other state.
The accused persons were booked under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 at the Narcotics Station in Aizawl, and produced before the Special Judge (ND and PS Act) on Monday which remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days and sent them to the Central Jail near Aizawl.
Mizoram state police and excise and narcotics department officials said that there has been an upsurge in drug trafficking across 404-km international border with Myanmar after ethnic turmoil in neighboring Manipur.
The officials opined that the increase in drug trafficking in the state is due to the traffickers’ inability to smuggle the drugs through Manipur, which remained one of the most prominent conduits.
The current turmoil in Manipur resulted in the sealing of the Myanmar border forcing the drug traffickers to use Mizoram as an alternate route, the officials said.
“Those arrested are not owners of the drugs, but mainly mules, who were carrying the drugs for the real owners, and the latter gave instructions by mobile phones” one official said.
He said that there is abundant supply of heroin and Methamphetamine in Falam and Mizoram border Khawmawi in Chin state of Myanmar, as well as Tahan (Kalemyo) in Sagaing division.
People from Mizoram and even non-tribal people from the neighboring states of Assam and Tripura also became mules to make quick money, the official said, adding that there are new drug addicts among the youths in the state.
At least 40 people have died due to drug abuse in the state since January 1 till June 13, records of the state excise and narcotics department said.
Meanwhile, the state excise and narcotics department officials have seized 29 kilo and 995 grams of heroin since January till June 15 as per the department’s record which is being updated and the quantity have increased immensely after compilation of the seizure after June 15.
The state Police record shows that Police personnel seized 26 kilos and 521 grams of heroin since January 1 till May 31 and the report is being updated.
Police seized 25 kilos and 380 grams of Methamphetamine during the same period while the state excise and narcotics officials seized 4 kilos and 060 grams of Methamphetamine since January 1 to June 15.