On Saturday, June 29, police in Manipur seized 111.915 kgs of brown sugar or heroin worth Rs 100 crore in the biggest ever drug seizure in the northeast. This was carried out by a combined team of the police and the Narcotics and Affairs of Border office, who busted a brown sugar-manufacturing factory and arrested three people running it at Lilong Dam in Thoubal district.
On the same day, a major shipment was seized at the Attari border near Chandigarh, where heroin was being smuggled into the country from Pakistan under the guise of a rock salt shipment. 532 kilograms of heroin worth Rs 2,700 crores was seized from the Integrated Check Post (ICP), which according to a customs officer. has been the “biggest ever achievement in the annals of Indian customs history.”
600 bags of ‘salt’ had been ordered by a local trader, and upon being tested, it was revealed that they all contained some quantity of heroin. The large consignment went through truck scanners installed by Pakistan customs on their side of the border, though there were none on the Indian side. The package was seized, and the accused, who are said to be from Jammu and Kashmir, been detained, along with the legal exporter of this consignment.
This is a particularly big deal as both states, Punjab and Manipur, have been tackling the issue of drug abuse for a while now. With both being so close to borders, drugs—especially heroin, which is fairly cheap—cross over to these places. Also known as brown sugar or smack, heroin is commonly injected, snorted or smoked and is an opioid known to produce euphoric effects, but also gives you a seriously bad downer. While Manipur shares a border with Myanmar—the world’s second largest producer of opium—Punjab is close to Pakistan and has been dealing with a drug crisis for many years.
While a recent UN report estimates that drug usage in India has gone up by 30 percent, a government study found that more than 53 percent of drug addicts used heroin and other opioids in Punjab, while intravenous injection of heroin has become a rising trend in Manipur.
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This article originally appeared on VICE IN.