Parcels with banned drugs caught by FPO

New Delhi: The Foreign Post Office (FPO) here has busted an apparent drug racket smuggling banned drugs to international destinations.

"We have found banned drugs in over 200 parcels over the last two years that were being smuggled to international locations," an official of the FPO told PTI.

Most of the parcels caught with drugs were to be mailed to addresses in the US, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Spain.

All international parcels sent from North India pass through the FPO in Delhi and the post office has found that most of the parcels containing drugs orginated from the Delhi NCR and Punjab.

The official, who did not wish to be named, said all the parcels carrying drugs were detected manually by an FPO employee posted to coordinate with the Customs Department for checking of parcels.

The employee, who has been posted in the FPO since the last two years, identified the fishy parcels by observing writing patterns, certain incongruity between the declared content of the parcels and the items inside and the destinations they were being shipped to.

"These are some of basic ways by which he detects the parcels. It`s not in good interest to tell you all the methods used by him to detect fishy parcels. Till date, there has been 95 per cent accuracy in his doubts. Since January, he has detected drugs like heroin, charas and ketamine in close to 80 parcels," an FPO official said.

According to the official, the estimated weight of the drugs seized is over 15 kilograms and most of the cases have been of heroin smuggling.

"Customs officials evaluate (the value of) heroin at the rate of Rs 1 crore per kilogram," the official said.

"Apart from heroin, charas was being shipped overseas in large quantities. The FPO has detected seven to eight cases of ketamine smuggling, which were hidden in tea bags," the official said.

When contacted for details about drug smuggling incidents and the action taken, the director of the FPO, Pranav Kumar, acknowledged the incidents, but refused to share any details.

"There have been a few such incidents, but we only coordinate with the Customs Department. Any action on malafide parcels is taken by them. We just note the parcels seized by them and their details," Kumar said.