A nexus among Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Maoists and insurgent groups of North-East is using money earned from drug trafficking to fund terror activities in India, official sources have said.
Major drug seizures on the India- Nepal border in the past four months have put a spotlight on this revenue generation strategy adopted by terror groups. Intelligence sources say that the ISI, Maoists and north- eastern groups are hand in glove.
In the last four months, Custom officials have seized more than 10 kg of heroin worth Rs.60 crore in international market from the India- Nepal border in Bihar's Araria district. Apart from this, 1,000 kg of marijuana and four kg of charas were also seized in the same area.
"The amount of seizure made in the last four months from the Indo- Nepal border drastically exceeds the seizure made in years from across the country. In the past, not more than three- four kg of heroin was recovered during the entire year," said a Custom official, who is a part of the team probing the seizures.
While only two arrests have been made in the five cases, counter- terror agencies suspect that the terror nexus is behind this international drug racket.
"This is definitely the most lucrative method of generating funds...
The Maoists have managed to procure hi- tech weapons from the US and China. Where is the money coming from?" an intelligence official said . The information about the big seizures has been shared by other agencies. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence ( DRI) and the Intelligence Bureau have also been roped in. A detailed dossier, with all information on the drug syndicate and its links with terror outfits, is also being prepared.
The DRI has already prepared a detailed note on the ongoing probe and forwarded it to intelligence agencies.
Even the National Investigation Agency ( NIA) - probing the arms procurement of the Maoists - is looking into the financial aspect.
Sources say the entire machinery is well- organised.
The procurement is being done by the ISI, while the stocking and distribution are done by the Maoists and N- E insurgents.
Many smugglers are former Maoists who facilitate the drug trade. The drugs being procured are from two blocks - the golden triangle: Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq; and the golden crescent: Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
What has shocked agencies is that unlike in the past, drugs are also being used in India. "Traditionally India was only a transit route, but now the demand for various drugs is increasing within the country," said an official from the Narcotics Control Bureau.