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Largest ever haul of opium seized

(Top) The four accused in police custody and (bottom) the seized contraband. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, SEP 1 (NPN):
Published on 2 Sep. 2009 12:27 AM IST
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Acting on a tip-off, Special Operation Team (SOT) of Dimapur police along with personnel of East police station seized the largest ever haul of opium around 1 am on Tuesday at Purana Bazar. The opium weighing around seven kilograms, was estimated to be worth nearly Rs.50 lakh in the international grey market. Interestingly, the contraband opium was seized from an oil tanker, when the owner of the truck traveling in his oil tanker unwittingly let the cat out of the bag in front of police. This happened after police intercepted two oil tankers from Imphal (MN01 6656 and MN01 6138) after the tip off. However police could not find any opium in both the oil tankers. At that period of time, another oil tanker (MN01 7675) which was following the other two oil tankers, arrived and was asked to stop at the site. The owner of the oil tanker, traveling in the oil tanker, saw that the two oil tankers were being subjected to intense checking by police. For whatever reasons, the owner in the oil tanker (MN 01/7675)who just arrived on the scene, got down and began to berate the driver and handyman for smuggling opium in his tanker. This incident blew the lid and led the police party conduct interrogation and checks which resulted in recovery of three packets of opium neatly packed in a rice bag inside the cabin. Four other packets were later recovered from a deflated tyre tube kept on the top of the cabin roof. Police took into custody the owner of the tanker, Raju Sharma (38), the driver, handyman and another person who were identified asDeepak Kumar Poudal (24), Subash Karki (28) and Mukesh Subedi (20). While the three accused were charged under the NDPS Act, the owner of the tanker and smuggler Raju Sharma was charged with abetting criminal conspiracy, harboring and financing criminals. It may be noted that opium is refined for making high grade heroin and is priced at $15 per gram in the international market.

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