In the biggest ever drug haul in northeast India, the Assam Rifles and the police in Manipur have seized over 154 kg 'methamphetamine' tablets and more than 54 kg heroin worth over Rs 508 crore and arrested one Myanmar national, officials said on Tuesday.
The DSP of Tengnoupal, Vikramjit Singh, said that the Assam Rifles and the police in a joint operation seized heroin powder weighing 54.141 kg and methamphetamine tablets weighing 154.314 kg from a house at Sunrise Ground in Moreh town late on Monday evening.
"The cost of the seized heroin powder is expected to be around Rs 108 crore and that of the methamphetamine (Crystal Meth) tablets around Rs 400 crore in the international market," he told the media.
The district police chief said that the Assam Rifles and the police after lengthy planning arrested Monkhai, 19, a resident of Khampat in neighbouring Myanmar, on Monday afternoon. His arrest led to the biggest ever seizure of drugs smuggled from across the border and stored in a house.
Colonel Sumit Sood, Commandant of 43 Assam Rifles of Moreh Battalion, and Singh along with other officials successfully seized the large cache of drugs which were meant to be ferried to other parts of India after month-long efforts.
The arrested person and the seized narcotics have been handed over to the Moreh police station and a case has been registered under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Further probe is on.
Appreciating the security forces for the record drugs seizure, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh tweeted: "Marvellous achievement by Tengnoupal Police and 43 Assam Rifles in seizing illegal narcotics substances worth Rs 500 crore from a warehouse in Moreh. On receiving a reliable input, the combined team had arrested one Myanmar national with 220 soap cases of suspected heroin.
"Upon his revelation, a warehouse was raided and 3,716 soap cases containing suspected heroin and 152 packets of suspected Crystal Meth (methamphetamine) were seized. This is one of the biggest seizures under the 'War on Drugs' initiative of the state government."
A defence spokesman said that Assam Rifles has been at the forefront in combating cross-border narco-terrorism and insurgency emanating from Myanmar.
"Narco-terrorism is a major source of finance for the terrorist groups based in Myanmar. It has linkages with the other players in the 'Golden Triangle'.
"This scrouge is the main reason for the rise in drug addiction among the youth of India, especially in the northeast region. It is also a source for fuelling terrorism in the region," the spokesman said.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as 'Yaba' or 'party tablets', is a synthetic drug used widely by the youth in Bangladesh and its neighbouring countries, besides India.