A kingpin of a heroin smuggling racket in the India-Sri Lanka sector wanted for the last eight years, Ibrahim Khan, was arrested under dramatic circumstances near Mumbai airport on Tuesday and lodged in the Madurai Central prison in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The 46-year-old Ibrahim Khan, son of one Mr Gaffar Khan, hailing from Tirunelveli, over 600 km South of Chennai, had been absconding since 2001 when he took drug trafficking in a “heavy way”, top official sources in the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Chennai, told HT this evening.
Mr. Ibrahim, wanted in three major cases involving smuggling of a total of 60 kg of heroin, valued in the International market at over Rs.60 Crores, had earlier given the slip when NCB Chennai unit had intercepted a consignment in 2001, sources said. Since, then the NCB has been after him.
While three other accused wanted in these cases had already been apprehended, sources said that NCB later came to know that Mr. Ibrahim Khan was operating out of Dubai. The kingpin was visiting Sri Lanka but was avoiding the Chennai route for long, sources said.
However, of late, Mr. Ibrahim Khan was learnt to be visiting Mumbai, where his wife, staying in Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, was believed to be visiting now and then, sources said. An NCB team from Chennai was then formed to keep track of the movements of the main accused’s wife.
Sources said that yesterday the NCB Chennai team was lucky when Ibrahim Khan had come to the Mumbai airport to see off his wife returning to Tiruchirappalli. The team then nabbed the main accused somewhere near the Mumbai Airport, and brought him down to Madurai early Wednesday.
While two of the narcotics cases against Mr. Ibrahim have been pending in Madurai, another one is pending against him in nearby Pudukottai, sources said. Ibrahim was produced before a Madurai Court later today and has since been lodged in the Central prison there, sources said, adding, the accused will now have to fight these three major long-pending cases against him.