Confiscation of narcotics like heroin and charas weighing 10 kg and 10 quintals of ganja valued at Rs 60 crore from trains and other places across Araria and Kishanganj districts within a period of less than four months by customs sleuths, though a record in itself, only shows how this border region is becoming the target of traffickers' target and has also turned out to be a hub of clandestine activities.
The customs sleuths, working on confidential inputs, swung into action and seized a huge consignment of heroin, which was neatly tucked inside the ceiling in the bathroom of a sleeper coach of Delhi -bound Seemanchal Express at Forbesganj railway station, barely 15 km from Bihar-Nepal border, on May 26, a senior customs official said.
Getting wind of the modus operandi of the traffickers, customs inspectors struggled very hard in removing the knots and bolts of the bathroom's ceiling in the sleeper coach, and could lay their hands on the huge consignment there, the official disclosed.
Spurred by such a huge haul, the customs sleuths made a real hat-trick when they seized various consignments of heroin and charas from the same Jogbani-Delhi Seemanchal Express train at Forbesganj railway junction in June, July and August.
The seizures yielded, in all, 10kg of contraband worth about Rs 50 crore, the official said.
In between, the customs sleuths seized 1,700 kg of Nepalese betel-nuts which were being ferried in a compartment earmarked exclusively for the differently abled passengers in Katihar-Siliguri passenger train at Thakurganj in Kishanganj district early this week, allegedly in tacit collusion with some railway staff, customs sources revealed.
Earlier, two narcotic traffickers were arrested with a loaded pistol during a raid at village Bhagahtoli in Araria district last month and seized 5kg of narcotics. Customs assistant commissioner (AC) Jyotiraditya, talking to TOI on Thursday, said their 'Operation Bust Syndicate' yielded positive result as huge quantities of fertilizers as well as foodgrains, earmarked for BPL families were seized while being ferried into Nepal lately.
Forbesganj civil SDO on tips provided by the customs officials, cracked whip on many a chairman of Primary Agriculture Credit Society (PACS) and PDS dealers in the area, said the customs AC.
A team of customs superintendents comprising Rakesh Ranjan Sinha, Shailendra Kumar Singh, A K Upadhyay and S Sinha, plus a host of inspectors has virtually been on its toes to bust the traffickers' game plan lately.