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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Akali leader who cheated drug lord

Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times  Patiala, November 15, 2013
First Published: 23:30 IST(15/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:07 IST(16/11/2013)

Violating underworld's code of honour, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Maninder Singh Bittu Aulukh reportedly had duped drug lord Jagdish Bhola of Rs. 1.75 crore.

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The investigation of dismissed Punjab Police officer Bhola (now under arrest) and his international drug racket has led police to more than just drug raw material worth Rs. 600 crore. Also uncovered is the value attached to word and trust in the underworld deals, where there are no written agreements.

Aulukh reportedly had breached this code by accepting Rs. 1.75 crore as advance from Bhola but supplying him with inferior, diluted precursor chemical to prepare the drug m-amphetamine, also called ICE. Aulukh sourced the chemical from Jagjit Singh Chahal, who also is under arrest, say police.

When Bhola confronted Aulakh, the leader called a powerful Akali leader and forced the drug lord to leave his hotel in Amritsar, police have added. Upset over the swindle, Bhola allegedly started direct dealing with Chahal, who owns pharmaceutical companies. "The interrogation of Chahal and Aulukh has since led to a haul of more than 600-kilogram precursor chemicals," said senior superintendent of police Hardial Singh Mann, who is credited with busting the racket.

The disclosures by Chahal led police to seize ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and others precursor chemicals from his MBP Pharmaceuticals factory in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. "About 60% of the precursor chemical was converted into synthetic drug ICE for a profit of Rs. 2 crore per kilogram, margin that is driving smugglers to switchover from traditional drugs," said the SSP.

The entire ill-gotten property of the men under arrest is being assessed, and they'll be dispossessed of it under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
 
Case file
Racket busted in March with arrest of NRI Anoop Singh Kahlon
Jagdish Bhola, dismissed deputy superintendent of Punjab Police, was arrested from Delhi on November 11
Rs 1,300 crore is total worth of drugs seized, so far, from Bhola's network
Rs 1,500 crore total worth of drugs that Bhola smuggled to the West through NRIs, air cargo and shipping
34 people under arrest (including those caught in Fatehgarh Sahib drug haul case), so far
3 Chinese, two Vietnamese, three Africans, 50 NRIs under police lens.

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