Based on intelligence jointly developed by DRI and ATS Gujarat, Operation ‘Gear Box’ was launched. DRI examined the container at Kolkata port in West Bengal in the presence of Gujarat ATS officers.
The said container from Jebel Ali, Dubai, with a gross weight of 9,300 kg, was reported to contain high-melting scrap. No record was left of this container and the goods were found to be scrap metal and machine parts such as gearboxes.
73 packages weighing 39.5 kg of powder
In a detailed inspection, i.e. dismantling gearboxes and other scrap metal, 72 packages with a total weight of 39.5 kg of powder in bags suspected of being narcotics have been found so far. The drug tested in field tests confirmed the presence of heroin. The detailed inspection is still ongoing.
Drugs hidden in the gearbox
It appears that a drug syndicate has used this unique modus operandi to hide heroin. The gears of the old and used gearboxes were removed after they were opened and the plastic packages containing the narcotics were placed in the created cavity and the gearboxes were reinstalled to avoid detection.
These packages were sent hidden inside the scrap metal together with other scrap metal so that it would not be noticed by the authorities. The investigation and seizure proceedings under the NDPS Act, 1985 by the DRI are continuing.
The novel Modus Operandi
It must be emphasized that the drug syndicate uses new methods of operation every time. In an earlier case where 75kg of heroin was recovered, 395kg of yarn was found to have been soaked in a solution containing the narcotic – heroin, which was then dried, baled and bagged to avoid detection.
A more detailed investigation is underway in this case.