Chandigarh: The Punjab Police has arrested as many as 11,360 drug smugglers including 1,628 "big fish" since July 5 last year, a senior official said on Tuesday.

"With the decisive war against drugs to root out the menace of drugs entering the ninth month, Punjab Police have arrested as many as 11360 drug smugglers including 1628 big fish since July 5, 2022," the police said in an official statement.

The Police have registered 8458 first information reports (FIRs) of which 962 are related to commercial quantity.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Headquarters Sukhchain Singh Gill, who was addressing his weekly Press Conference here on Tuesday, said that the police teams have recovered 612.78-Kg of heroin from across the state after carrying out cordon and search operations in drug-affected areas besides laying nakas at vulnerable routes across the state.

"Additionally, 147.5 kg heroin was recovered by the teams of Punjab Police from Seaports of Gujarat and Maharashtra, taking the total effective recovery of heroin to 760.28 kg in just eight months," he said.

The IGP further said that police have also recovered 464.18-Kg opium, 586-Kg Ganja, 270 quintals of poppy husk, and 53.73 lakhs tablets, capsules, injections and vials of pharma opioids from across the state apart from seizing big-haul of heroin.

The Police have also recovered Rs 10.36 crores of drug money from the possession of drug smugglers arrested in these eight months.

He further said that in the last week, the police had arrested 234 drug smugglers and suppliers after registering 189 first information reports (FIRs), including 22 commercials, and recovered 7.60-Kg Heroin, 10.30-Kg opium, 13.87-Kg Ganja, 2.80 quintals of poppy husk, and 59271 tablets, capsules, injections and vials of Pharma opioids besides recovering Rs 1.47 lakh drug money from their possession.

He said that with 25 more proclaimed offenders (POs) and absconders in the NDPS cases arrested in the last one week, the total number of arrests reached 749 since the special drive was started on July 5, 2022.

Pertinently, Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab Gaurav Yadav had given strict instructions to all the CPs/SSPs to investigate backwards and forward linkages minutely in each and every case, especially related to drug recoveries, even if they recover a meagre amount of drugs.