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Businessman wanted in narcotics cartel case

india Updated: Feb 09, 2009 22:55 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times
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The anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) has launched a hunt for a city-based businessman who has emerged as a key suspect in the narcotics cartel allegedly run by arrested Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer, Saji Mohan.

Mohan was arrested on January 25 in Oshiwara.

A senior ATS official, who refused to be identified since he is not authorised to speak to the media, told Hindustan Times on Monday that the businessman had been identified as Hafiz.

Refusing to reveal the personal details of the suspect, fearing that it would mar the hunt, the official said that Mohan had managed to sell a ‘substantial quantity’ of heroin through Hafiz last year. The official added that details of the deal would be known only after Hafiz’s arrest.

“We would come to know the exact quantity of the narcotics that was given to Hafiz by Saji or the proceeds of the sale, only after we nab Hafiz,” the official said, adding that they could ill-afford to rely on details given by Mohan.

The official said that Hafiz’s name cropped up during the interrogation of Vicky Oberoi. Oberoi, a Naigaon-based exporter, was arrested on January 17 along with Haryana police constable Rakesh Kumar from Oshiwara for possessing 1.7 kg of white heroin, which they had allegedly received from Saji.

Mohan, Vicky and Kumar are currently in judicial custody.

After Mohan’s arrest, the ATS recovered over 25 kg of heroin from Oberoi’s flat that had allegedly been stored by the IPS officer since October last year.

Oberoi told his interrogators that he had introduced Hafiz to Saji almost a year ago. Saji later confided to Hafiz about his intention to sell narcotics in Mumbai, and the former agreed to that. Later on, Saji brought Hafiz a consignment for sale.

“We suspect that the proceedings from the sale were used by Mohan to buy properties,” the official said, adding that they would make enquiries about all properties bought by the IPS officer, including a three-bed-room flat in Kochi early this year.