Rs 1,300cr worth drugs seized from international cartel

Rs 1,300cr worth drugs seized from international cartel

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The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has unearthed an international drugs cartel with the seizure of drugs worth Rs 1,300 crore, including 20 kg cocaine worth Rs 100 crore in India, with the arrest of nine persons that included five Indians.

Officials said the seizures made by the NCB have national and international ramifications, which warrants deeper probes to understand the various linkages of these cartels.

Looking into the gravity of the offences, they said, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to further probe links of this network and for launching effective prosecution.

Besides five Indians, the arrested also include an American, an Indonesian and two Nigerians.

According to officials, the drug cartel was spread across Delhi, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra with links to Australia, Canada, the US, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Malaysia and Nigeria.

"The cumulative seizure of cocaine done by NCB in India is around 20 kg, having international value of Rs 100 crores. Source of 55 kg of cocaine (previously seized in Australia) has been connected to the originator of the shipment. The total international worth of the seized drugs from the drug cartel is about Rs 1300 crore," an official statement said.

"Consignments of psychotropic drugs in India were found to be sourced from Canada, Australia and USA. The shipments of cocaine and methamphetamine were sent from India to Australia," it added.

The syndicate used India as both destination and transit for cocaine consignment, NCB (Northern Region) Deputy Director General S K said.

The investigations into the cartel started following an information about the involvement of a Canadian of Indian origin in the seizure of Methamphetamine in Australia sourced from Canada.

Jha claimed one Akshinder Singh Sodhi, who was earlier involved in a major drug case unearthed by Mumbai DRI in the past, was involved in various shipments from Canada to Australia. One such parcel originated from Canada and destined to India, was intercepted by NCB and 422 gms of cocaine was found concealed in the parcel.

Various Canadian and Australian links of Singh Sodhi were discovered during inquiry and further surveillance was mounted on the network, he said adding it was also learnt that this syndicate had got a shipment of cocaine in a container of wrought iron which landed at Mumbai Port.

The NCB was also informed that in Australia, 55 kg of cocaine, which was hidden in plasma cutting machine, shipped from India was seized by the authorities there. Further investigations led to a raid in Ghaziabad where one R Singh was arrested allegedly with 10 kg of cocaine was recovered.

During follow up investigations, NCB officials identified M Rainheart, an Indonesian national, was arrested. Later, American national Richard Walter Fournier, and two Nigerians were arrested. (ENDS)

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