The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has seized nearly 234 kgs of opium from Rajasthan, the “largest” seizure this year yet, and arrested two people on charges of drug trafficking, the agency said on Friday (July 24).
The seizure was made on July 19 from Shadi village in the state’s Chittorgarh district.
“A team from the Jodhpur zonal unit raided the residential premises of a person, R Lal, and seized 233.97 kgs of opium. Another person M K Dhakad of Bhilwara district has also been arrested,” NCB Deputy Director (Operations) K P S Malhotra said in Delhi.
The agency also seized a sports utility vehicle (SUV) as part of the operation, he said.
“This is the largest opium seizure of the year in the country. Preliminary investigation has found that the opium was sourced from the legal cultivation area of Chittorgarh and was destined to Jodhpur,” he said.
The consignment belonged to Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan based drug traffickers, Malhotra said.
Opium is dried latex obtained from the seed capsule of the opium poppy plant and it is chemically processed to produce heroin.
The Central Bureau of Narcotics, under the Union finance ministry, gives licence for its legal production in three states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
Malhotra said the probe into the latest case found that some legal cultivators, especially those in Mandsaur, Neemuch and Ratlam districts of Madhya Pradesh and Chittorgarh and Jhalawar districts of Rajasthan, diverted opium through illegal channels and sold it to intermediaries for profit.
“These intermediaries traffic this opium to other parts of the country for consumption and conversion into heroin,” he said.