Two Afghan nationals and their Indian accomplice, who were allegedly part of an international drug trafficking racket, have been arrested by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police at Indira Gandhi International Airport here. The police claim to have seized 15 kg of heroin from them.

The Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch on Thursday received a tip-off that two Afghan nationals purportedly smuggling heroin would come to India on board Ariana Afghan Airlines and hand over a consignment to a person at IGI Airport. Three teams were formed to keep a close watch on the movement of the suspects.

A team trailed the alleged receiver, later identified as Raju Dawar, who reached the international airport in a white car before the arrival of the flight in which the Afghan nationals were coming.

Around 7-30 p.m., Raju went to the exit gate and after a while returned with a suitcase, accompanied by an Afghan national. They were intercepted and the suitcase checked. The police purportedly found 7.1 kg high-quality heroin concealed in a cavity, following which the two were arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. The Afghan national was identified as Mohammad Masoom, from whom the police purportedly seized half kg of heroin kept in a polythene packet.

Police Commissioner Y. S. Dadwal said the accused disclosed that the second Afghan national named Mohammad had left for Hotel Kabuli in Jangpura. Another team arrested the accused in the hotel room and purportedly seized 7.4 kg of heroin concealed in a similar fashion in another suitcase.

During interrogation, the accused revealed that they worked for a drug trafficking network being run by Kabul-based smuggler Dawood, who had previously lived in Lajpat Nagar here as a refugee. The police said Dawood’s son Zahir is presently lodged in an Amritsar jail. He was arrested about a year ago on the same charges.

The police have obtained four-day custody of the accused to identify the others involved in the racket. They are also trying to ascertain the destination point of the consignment that was worth about Rs.15 crore in the international market. The passports of both the Afghan nationals, residents of Kandhar, have been seized. Preliminary investigations have indicated that they had earlier visited India.

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