The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) wing of the SAS Nagar police has arrested three heroin smugglers with weapons smuggled from Pakistan, besides 31 mobile phones and a Pakistani SIM card.
The accused have been identified as Gurjant Singh (26) and Sandeep Singh (25) of Tarn Taran district and Jatinder Singh (34) of Ludhiana. They were arrested from Kharar, a subdivision of SAS Nagar district, about 14km from Chandigarh.
Three people arrested with arms, ammunitions and a Pakistan mobile SIM card in Mohali (Punjab). pic.twitter.com/LOuAWBUwHp— ANI (@ANI_news) January 4, 2016
Two arrests were made on December 29 and another on December 31, but the police withheld the disclosure till Monday as the cops were busy making the recoveries.
The weapons seized include a 9-mm sten gun, .30-bore Mauser of Chinese make, a Brazilian-made 9mm pistol and an airgun, besides cartridges, all smuggled from across the border.
SAS Nagar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said: “The SIM was procured by the accused to contact their supplier in Pakistan, identified as Imtiaz.”
He added, “At many places along the border, it’s the Pakistani mobile network, not the Indian one, that works. Thus, the accused had procured a Pakistani SIM to keep in touch with their supplier.”
However, the SSP ruled out the possibility of the trio’s involvement in terror activities. “The gang is primarily into drug smuggling, kidnapping and extortion. They had smuggled weapons from Pakistan in a bid to enhance their firepower in case of an encounter with the police.”
Gurjant, a Class-10 dropout, was awarded 20-year jail for possessing 26kg heroin in 2010. In 2013, while he was serving the sentence in Ferozepur jail, he fled from a hospital during a medical examination. Sandeep, also a Class-10 dropout, had jumped parole in 2014 while he was serving 12-year jail term for possessing 2kg heroin. This is the first time that Jatinder, accused of murdering a gangster in Ludhiana in 2010, has been arrested.
The accused, against whom three FIRs have been registered in various police stations in SAS Nagar, were presently in six-day police custody, which was extended by two days on Monday.
According to the district police, Gurjant had rented an accommodation in Sunny Enclave, Kharar, in September 2015 under the fake identity of Jalandhar resident Gagandeep Singh and had also got a passport issued in this name. He had used this passport to travel to Thailand, where he had a meeting with Pakistani drugs and arms smuggler Imtiaz. Gurjant had also procured a driving licence and voter identity card under the fake name of Mangat Singh, while Sandeep had got a voter card and driving licence in the name of ‘Manveer Singh’.
The police added that the accused used to smuggle narcotics from Hindumalkot village in Rajasthan through Punjab’s Ferozepur-Fazilka area. They confessed to having smuggled through the cross-border route about 2.71 quintals of heroin, which they used to send to Delhi and further to the rest of the country.
On September 1, 2015, the local police had registered a case against the smugglers following an ATM robbery. On December 29, on a tip-off, the police arrested Sandeep and Gurjant from a salon in Kharar along with a Swift car carrying weapons. The car was stolen from Ludhiana at gunpoint. Sandeep and Gurjant’s interrogation led to Jatinder’s arrest on December 31. Weapons were recovered from him too.
One 9mm sten gun
Two 9mm pistols
Two .30-bore pistols
39 cartridges (9mm)
144 cartridges (.30 bore)
5 cartridges of .455 bore
2 boxes of pellets for airgun
One Pakistani SIM
31 mobile phones