The district police have arrested three notorious smugglers and allegedly recovered 2 kg opium from their possession near Gholia Kalan village under Baghapurana subdivision, 34 km from the district headquarter on Saturday.
Jatinder Singh Khaira, Moga senior superintendent of police, said the arrested have been identified as Dharminder Singh Bhinda, Jasvir Singh Gora and Jugraj Singh, residents of Aaklia Jalal village in Bathinda district.
According to the police, the contraband is worth `3 lakh in the international market.
The SSP said police had received a tip-off that some smugglers were entering the district to sell opium and other drugs. "As soon as we received information, I formed a special team under the supervision of Prem Singh, incharge of the Moga CIA staff, and barricaded various places across the district. We stopped a Ford Ikon car near Gholia Kalan and recovered 2 kg opium from the vehicle. The driver and other two people, who were travelling in the car, tried to flee the spot but after a long chase, the police succeeded in nabbing the driver," said the SSP.
The police official said the arrested person Jasvir Singh Gora, a truck driver, often went to Rajasthan. "He has been involved in the illegal drug trade for the past several years. Gora bought opium from Rajasthan at cheap rates and sold it in various places across Punjab at double the rate. After arresting Gora, we will try to arrest the opium buyers," said Khaira.
"A case has been registered against the three under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. A special investigation team has been formed to look into the matter. Another team has been set up to nab the opium buyers who are at large," the SSP said.
According to police officials, in another case, the police have arrested Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Patti Mohabat near Moga and allegedly recovered 100 gm antioxidant powder from his possession.