The district (rural) police on Monday claimed to have arrested a rape accused declared a proclaimed offender (PO) by court with 2.5 kg of heroin and Rs. 24 lakh in cash.
Acting on a tip-off that the PO was living in a house in Chuheki village in the Nurmahal area, the CIA staff and the Nurmahal police conducted a joint raid on April 25 and arrested the accused, identified as Surjit Lal alias Sodhi (23), SSP Yurinder Singh Hayer told reporters.
The accused was wanted in connection with the rape of a minor in August in the Nurmahal area. Sodhi's cousin Balbir Chand, a co-accused in the case, was arrested last year, but he managed to escape and was later declared a PO by court.
Sodhi, who has been remanded in four-day police custody, said during his interrogation that he had been peddling drugs for the past two years. On the basis of his confession, the police seized 2.5 kg of heroin estimated to be worth Rs. 12.5 crore in the international market from his Innova, the SSP said. The vehicle has been impounded.
A bag containing Rs. 24 lakh in cash was recovered from the residence of his grandparents in Partap Pura village of Phillaur. The police said Sodhi had made this money by selling drugs.
During investigation, it came to the fore that the accused was leading a life of luxury, which aroused the suspicion of the police. The SSP said the police had also seized his two bank accounts in which lakhs of rupees was deposited.
Sodhi initially claimed that he had got the money from his father, who was settled in Dubai. But in the course of his further interrogation, he admitted that he had earned this money through drugs.
The SSP said the police would grill Sodhi to know about the other members of the gang, the conduits involved in the racket and the source and destination of the drug.
A fresh case under sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against Sodhi at the Nurmahal police station.