KARACHI - The Pakistan Customs on Saturday claimed to have foiled a major smuggling bid of betel nuts in Karachi.

Also, police and the Rangers apprehended eight suspects in targeted raids in various parts of the city.

According to Customs spokesperson, Anti-Smuggling Organisation (ASO) of Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) (Preventive), Karachi, on a credible information passed by Manzoor Hussain Memon, Chief Collector of Customs (Enforcement-South) to Collector (Preventive) Dr Iftikhar Ahmad, formed a team under supervision of ADC (Headquarter-I), Muhammad Amir Thahim and led by Deputy Collector, Muhammad Faysal, Incharge Anti-Smuggling Organization. The team successfully intercepted a van loaded with betel nuts, which is extremely injurious to human health, near Shershah Road, SITE. In follow up operation, the team recovered a huge quantity of 192 tons of smuggled injurious betel nuts, concealed and dumped in a godown at SITE, Karachi. The case has been registered and further investigation is under way.

Crackdown on betel nuts is continuing from the past few months and authorities concerned including Customs and police have so far seized hundreds of tons of betel nuts and arrested a number of suppliers.

Rangers personnel conducted a raid in Preedy area and arrested a suspect namely Sohail alias Waqar, involved in cases of street crime. In another raid in Frere area, the Rangers arrested a suspect Junaid alias Musharraf Pathan, involved in cases of drug peddling.

Separately, Shah Latif Police claimed to have arrested a suspect, Anwar and recovered a pistol from his possession. Police said that the suspect involved in a case of attempt to murder. SITE-A section police during a raid arrested a drug peddler identified as Samiullah and recovered weapon and drugs from his possession.

Khawaja Ajmair Nagri police arrested a suspect namely Kamran and recovered a pistol and drugs from his possession. Police and Rangers, during joint snap checking in SITE Superhighway area, arrested three suspects after an exchange of fire. Police said that during the snap checking the suspects resorted to firing on police and the Rangers. The law enforcers also retaliated and arrested three suspects -- Ilyas, Ali Raza and Sajid Khan. Police said that two suspects out of three got injured during an exchange of fire.