India’s top anti-terror body, the National Investigative Agency (NIA) – charged 11 people including six absconders and four companies before a special court on Friday, in a case related to the seizure of 532 kg of heroin at the Attari border.
The agency said the drug trade is being used to fund terrorism in the country.
“Investigations have established that the accused formed a terrorist gang to bring many consignments of narcotics to India. A vast network of Hawala and other informal channels have (sic) been used to smuggle narcotics into India through the legitimate trade route between India and Pakistan in the garb of importing rock salt,” the NIA said in its chargesheet.
The investigation has been able to establish an international conspiracy in which nationals of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indians from Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi have come to light so far.
The NIA said it’s a case of narco-terrorism, having national and international implications with evidence of the generation of funds through the proceeds from the sale of narcotics smuggled from across international borders. The agency said further investigations continue.
The NIA had taken over the case from Punjab Police and Customs Department in July this year after the main accused Gurpinder Singh died under mysterious circumstances in an Amritsar jail in Punjab State.
The agency also revealed that using SWIFT– one of the largest financial messaging systems in the world–the drug peddlers were sending the consignment money to a CitiBank based in New York.