Tracking a money laundering scandal involving nexus between non-resident Indians (NRIs) and the drugs mafia, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday raided 15 locations in Punjab, Delhi and Chandigarh, officials said here.
No disclosures were being made by ED officials but sources said the alleged money laundering could be of over Rs. 700 crore.
Properties of drug mafia kingpin Raja Kandola, who is himself an NRI and now lodged in Tihar jail following his arrest from Punjab in August last year for involvement in a Rs. 200 crore drugs trade, and others were raided at several places, sources said.
The raids were conducted in Delhi's Karol Bagh area, Paharganj, Sainik Farms, Gurgaon's DLF colony, in Chandigarh and Punjab's towns of Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Sunam, Garhshankar, Abohar, Samrala and Mohali, sources said here.
Enforcement Directorate's assistant director Niranjan Singh confirmed that raids were conducted at several locations. He said that the ED was probing an alleged nexus between the drugs mafia and NRIs.
"We are probing the nexus of NRI money laundering with the drugs trade. The details will come out in investigations," he told IANS here.
The ED registered a case of money laundering against 18 people in October 2012.
Kandola was arrested by police from a farmhouse in Punjab along with other accomplices, for his involvement in the drugs trade.
In January 2010, Punjab Police unearthed a racket of manufacturing high-end drugs with the recovery of 18 kg synthetic intoxicant - Methamphetamine - worth over Rs. 90 crore. The drug is known as 'Ice' and 'Speed' in party circles and considered to be more expensive than heroin.
Police found a unit set up for manufacturing 'Ice'.
Police sources said the high-end drugs were being supplied to the high-heeled.
The accused in the drugs and money laundering trade were using expensive and high-end imported cars.
Punjab is a major transit and destination point for drugs trade in the region. Every year, various agencies recover hundreds of kilograms of heroin and other drugs being smuggled from Pakistan through the international border.