The counter-intelligence police claim to have arrested two inter-state history-sheeters in drug peddling. Poppy husk worth Rs 40 lakh was seized from them along with Rs 50,000 in cash.
Around 32-tonne poppy husk packed in 117 bags was recovered from a truck on Bathinda-Dabwali road while it was coming from Rajasthan on Monday.
It is not for the first time that Sukhmander Singh and Lakhvir Singh of Ramuwala Kalan and Chotian Tobha, both in Moga district, respectively, have been booked under the NDPS Act.
Both were being financed by one Lakhwinder Singh, who is on the run. Lakhwinder was out on bail in similar cases.
"All three have been booked under the NDPS Act at Canal Colony police station in Bathinda. The accused had hidden the poppy husk under the china clay power that was being brought from Rajasthan," said Jatinder Jain, IG, counter-intelligence.
He said, "During the initial interrogation, the accused admitted to being in this trade for 12 years. Many cases of drug peddling have been registered against them at different police stations."
Lakhvir Singh, a proclaimed offender (PO) for six years, was booked at Mehna police station in Moga district in 2007 after 16 bags of poppy husk were recovered from him. Another case of recovery of two bags of poppy husk was registered against him in 2008.
Sukhmander Singh was sentenced to 10-month imprisonment and fined Rs 10,000 in a case registered at Mehna police station in Moga district as 45kg poppy husk was recovered from him. He was given two-year imprisonment in another case of drug peddling registered at the same police station.
Lakhwinder Singh was also involved in drug peddling for quite some time. He was first booked at Jaitu police station in Faridkot district in 2001 after 432kg poppy husk was seized from him.
In 2007, he got three cases registered against him under the NDPS Act. He was booked at Nahian Wala police station in Bathinda in a similar case. The Patiala police arrested him with 1kg poppy husk on September 4, 2007. Three weeks later, he was booked after 100gm opium was seized from him in Ferozepur.
Ajay Maluja, AIG, counter-intelligence, said, "They bought poppy husk at Rs 500 per kg from Rajasthan and sold it at Rs 1,200 per kg in Bathinda, Moga, Ludhiana and Faridkot districts."
The counter-intelligence police claim to have recovered 22kg heroin, 12,645kg poppy husk, 7.4kg opium and other drugs in the first four months of this year.