Among all drugs recovered by Mohali police so far this year, opium has emerged as the top choice of drug peddlers.
As many as 31 kg of opium has been recovered since January 1, followed by 8 kg heroin.
Valued at ₹100 per gm, compared to the around ₹4,000 per gm price tag of heroin, opium is the drug-peddlers’ favourite, thanks to the high demand by addicts and easy availability in the region, said investigators.
Through their crackdown on drug trade, police have arrested 340 peddlers this year, compared to 205 in 2021. A total of 235 cases have been registered since January 1, up from 136 last year.
In the latest recovery, police on Sunday had caught three drug peddlers who were trying to smuggle in 10 kg opium into Mohali in an ambulance, with one of them posing as a patient. The other men were posing as the driver and the attendant.
The trio later confessed to smuggling the drug at least 12 times in the past from Uttar Pradesh.
According to investigators, through interrogation of the peddlers, they had found that opium was mainly smuggled from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, while heroin was sourced from Delhi and border areas of Punjab. The national capital is also the primary source of cocaine smuggling, while intoxicant pills are supplied from Uttar Pradesh.
60% drug peddlers caught while entering Mohali district
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vivek Sheel Soni said around 60% of the drug smugglers caught this year were arrested while entering Mohali from Lalru side. “Sometimes we get prior information that leads to arrests, while on other occasions, checking of vehicles leads to recoveries. As many as 40% of the smugglers are staying as paying guests and are from neighbouring districts and states. All drug smugglers are aged between 20 and 40 and most of them are school or college dropouts,” he said.
The SSP said usually when commercial quantities were recovered, it was found that the district was used as transit, while in the case of recovery of small quantities, the drug peddlers were often suppliers for college and university students in the district and region.
“As part of the Punjab government’s anti-drug drive, various teams were constituted by the Mohali police to rein in drug peddlers and smugglers. With the arrest of 340 accused, we have been able to break the chain to some extent,” he said.