Pakistan, Afghanistan joint action foils smuggling bid

In a joint operation, Pakistani and Afghan customs authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle tonnes of iodine, which can be used for the synthesis of drugs, an official said here.

The akistan Customs Port Control Unit in Karachi conducted the operation with Afghan customs officials on credible information that a container en route to Afghanistan from the United Arab Emirates through Pakistan, carried a huge quantity of contraband, the official told Xinhua news agency on Friday.

The official said after the container was identified as having suspicious profiling, Pakistani customs officials immediately informed their Afghan counterparts, adding that acting upon it, Afghan customs in coordination with the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime( UNODC) seized the iodine.

The seized iodine could be used to produce a large amount of synthetic drug namely methamphetamine.

According to a UNODC survey report, the methamphetamine that could be manufactured through the seized iodine has an international market value of about $546 million, Dawn new reported.

The movement was closely monitored from Karachi to Torkham border with Afghanistan by Pakistan Customs to avoid any en route pilferage.