NEW DELHI: In the largest drug bust of 2020, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has seized nearly 234 kgs of opium from Rajasthan. Two persons were arrested in the case on on charges of drug trafficking. An SUV, also part of the operation was seized.
The agency said on Friday that the seizure was made on July 19 from Shadi village in Chittorgarh district.
Opium is dried latex obtained from the seed capsule of the opium poppy plant and it is chemically processed to produce heroin.
"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, as quoted by a news agency.
"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.
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, as reported by the news agency.
"These intermediaries traffic this opium to other parts of the country for consumption and conversion into heroin," he said.