Punjab cops seize Chinese-made drones, arrest Army man

The drones, capable of travelling 2-3 kms on either side of the border, were reportedly being launched from the Indian side to fly into Pakistan to pick up payloads of narcotics.

On high alert ever since the occurrence of drone activity along the Indo-Pak border in Punjab, the state police on Friday seized two highly sophisticated Chinese-made drones and arrested an Army soldier, a Naik, and two smugglers belonging to a narco-terror module, involved in smuggling of weapons and narcotics from across the border.

The seizures also included drone batteries, custom-made drone containers, two walkie talkie sets, Rs 6.22 lakh in cash and a magazine of an INSAS rifle. The drones, capable of travelling 2-3 kms on either side of the border, were reportedly being launched from the Indian side to fly into Pakistan to pick up payloads of narcotics. They had apparently already conducted 4-5 sorties, Punjab Police DGP Dinkar Gupta said this evening.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had earlier expressed concern over the recent drone activity along the border which first came to light in August 2019 post abolition of Article 370. Capt had raised the issue with the central government seeking close monitoring by central agencies and forces. The central government has already issued SOPs for use of drones, which with their ability to fly low without lights and their minimal engine noise can also be used to target VIPs.

The DGP, who was accompanied by ADGP (Internal security) RN Dhoke, IG Border Range, SPS Parmar, and SSP Tarn Taran, Dhruv Dhaiya, said this was the first instance to show that drones were being used to smuggle narcotics, even though no drugs had been recovered.

“The module members had revealed that they were involved in cross-border smuggling of drugs and weapons over drones over the past few months,” Dinkar Gupta said. Some of the flying devices recovered were purchased through a popular online selling portal.

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