Rawalpindi - The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) busted an international gang involved in smuggling heroin abroad by arresting its ringleader and three associates during an operation.

Addressing a press conference at ANF headquarters on Tuesday, ANF high-ups said that ANF operational team conducted a successful operation and intercepted a Tayota car at Jhangi Syedan, Rawalpindi. During search, 10-kg heroin was recovered from the said car and Aqal Khan son of Yar Khan, resident of Khyber Agency, Younis son of Khan Haider of Khyber Agency, Muhammad Arshad son of Fazal Naeem, a resident of Peshawar, and Ghilaf Gull son of Hiran Gul of Khyber Agency were arrested on the spot.

They said that ANF had been receiving information through different sources regarding increased heroin trafficking to Gulf countries by the gang in the past.

In 2014, ANF got information regarding a KP-based drug gang headed by Aqal Khan, involved in trafficking drugs to the Middle East. The ANF got mobile numbers used by Aqal Khan. Investigations confirmed that Aqal is involved in drug trafficking to West Africa and Middle East, they added. A team of ANF started developing the operation through field investigations and technical/physical surveillance. Year-long investigations resulted in gathering of valuable information about Aqal Khan and shared the same with counterparts to unearth further links in Middle East.

The analysis of intelligence revealed that Aqal was not only involved in smuggling of heroin but also transacts drug money through Hawala at a large scale. His other important associates in Pakistan and various linkages in Afghanistan and Africa were also identified. Four key associates of Aqal based in Pakistan were identified as Younas, Ijaz , Haji Khyber and Haji Murad. Cases were registered against the accused while further investigation was under way, they added.