The Patiala police claimed to have busted a Rajasthan-based international synthetic drug racket by arresting the mastermind, Canadian resident Devinder Singh Dev, who was once supplying drugs to Punjab-based drug smugglers, including Jagdish Bhola. The police termed Dev's arrest as the "biggest catch" as his racket is said to be much bigger than Bhola's.
Delhi-based drug smuggler Pramod Tony and a shipping company owner are also partners of Dev, who has so far smuggled Rs 6,000-crore drugs to Western countries through air and ship cargo, the police said.
"Bhola is a small fry in front of Dev," said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Hardial Singh Mann, adding that Dev was arrested from Sriganganagar, Rajasthan.
"Dev was Bhola's boss and he was providing opium, precursor chemicals ketamine, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to him in the initial stages," he said.
"We have informed the union ministry of external affairs to inform the Canadian high commission about Dev's arrest. Ontario resident Dev is having a much bigger network than Bhola. His identity was revealed after Bhola's interrogation," the SSP said.
He said investigations had revealed that ketamine, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were procured by drug racketeers from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi etc. after diverting these from medicinal sectors and smuggled into Canada. The processing of the precursor chemicals to manufacture synthetic drugs was done mainly in Canada by Chinese and Vietnamese nationals, the SSP added.
"The primary conduits for smuggling the contraband consignments into India were Pramod Tony, a Delhi-based operative and another person who owned a ship. A company named Quality Foods was used in the smuggling ring with both air cargo and shipments being used for the contraband," the SSP said.