In evidence of Sri Lanka being used as the hub of an international drug peddling cartel, Anti-Narcotics Force of Pakistan confiscated 402 kilos of heroin meant to be shipped to Sri Lanka last year alone, diplomatic sources said yesterday.
The confiscation was done in two separated cases- 200 kilos in one case and 202 kilos in another.
There were several cases in which foreign nationals, mainly Pakistanis, were arrested in connection with smuggling heroin into Sri Lanka in recent times with the support of their local agents.
Asked about ongoing cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka to curb the menace, a spokesman for the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo said that Pakistan did not produce the narcotics.
“Pakistan is not producing any narcotics and is enjoying the status of poppy free country under the United Nations criteria, since 2009,” he said.
“There is no heroin laboratory in Pakistan, which could produce heroin. Pakistan like Sri Lanka is a victim of transshipment of narcotics and has resolved to prevent transshipment through its ports.
“Out of the total production of drugs in Afghanistan 40 per cent is shipped through Pakistan.
Three Pakistanis were arrested in connection heroin smuggling in Sri Lanka last year. Besides, another three Pakistanis have been arrested so far this year on similar allegations.
“Pakistan has strict monitoring mechanism by ANF at all entry and exit points including 13 international airports and air cargo terminals, 17 dry ports, three seaports and seven border entry and exit points.
“ANF has seized around 250,000 kilos of drugs and precursor chemicals last year and this has made 2013 a record year for ANF, in terms of seizure statistics of drugs,” he said.
Pakistan High Commission in Colombo has recommended to the Ministry of Interior Pakistan to display warnings at all the airports stating that carrying, using and selling narcotics in Sri Lanka is a serious offence and is punishable by death penalty or life imprisonment,” he said.
A complete unit of ANF is working in collaboration with Sri Lankan authorities which has helped in prevention of several such cases. Besides seizing drugs destined to Sri Lanka, ANF is also cooperating with Sri Lankan drug law enforcement agency on various operational matters.(By Kelum Bandara)