The arrest of the three heroin smugglers with arms, mobile phones, a Pakistani SIM card, fake passport and driving licences has not only exposed chinks in the security but has also brought to fore the “tout culture” in the district transport office.
The police recovered six driving licences and a passport obtained by the accused — Gurjant Singh, Sandeep Singh and Jatinder Singh — on fake identities. The authorities concerned issued these documents without verification.
The police are investigating the role of district transport office and passport office employees who helped the accused get driving licences and passport on fake identity.
Sources reveal that a tout charges anything between `1,500 and `2,000 for providing a driving licence without a person having to visit the district transport office. Many driving schools are using their “links” to procure licences without driving test and verification.
“We conduct regular checks to weed out the tout culture. We will soon start a driving track in SAS Nagar to put the people seeking driving licence to test. The test will be video recorded,” said Karan Singh district transport officer, SAS Nagar.
“We are investigating the role of employees who have helped the accused to procure driving licences. The possibility of touts operating to help the accused is not ruled out,” said SAS Nagar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.
Gurjant had used a passport obtained on fake identity to travel to Thailand to meet a Pakistan-based smuggler, Imtiaz, who used to provide narcotics, arms and ammunition to him.
The accused have admitted that they used to smuggle narcotics from Hindumalkot village in Rajasthan through Ferozepur and Fazilka.
They admitted to have smuggled around 2.7 qunitals of heroin from across the border which they used to send to Delhi. The accused also smuggled arms, including sten gun, two pistols, a .9mm pistol, three .30-bore pistol along with live cartridges and a Pakistani SIM card through this route.