Jalandhar ED raids Delhi bizman convicted in Bhola drug case
The zonal office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the residence and a farm house of a Delhi-based businessman, Dev Behl, on Wednesday late evening.
Behl, an accused in ₹6,000-crore Bhola synthetic drug cartel case and drug money laundering as well, was recently sentenced by a CBI court to two-year jail and fined ₹30,000 in a December 2013 First-Information Racket (FIR) linked to the drug racket, registered under the NDPS Act at Fatehgarh Sahib. Police had recovered 30-kg of a synthetic drug, Pseudoephedrine, at his disclosure.
Sources added that the searches on Behl’s premises resulted after the Jalandhar zone ED office submitted a detailed report on all sensitive drug cases to the Delhi headquarters. The report also listed the delays in past investigations. In Behl’s case, a farmhouse called Golden Arches was also raided and documents have been seized for investigation.
Raid follows formation of STF
Highly-placed sources added that the raid on Behl follows the ED forming a Special Task Force (STF), around a fortnight ago, to probe drug cases after serious lapses and delays were found in certain investigations in sensitive matters. This STF aims to tighten the noose around international players funding the drug trade in the three border states of Punjab, J&K and Rajasthan.
Source added that the ED planned to pin down if there had been laxity on the part of investigation officers who have handled cases in the past. The ED will also trace the source of funds being pumped in for narco-terrorism and quiz people sitting abroad, who are involved in the drug trade.
The STF will also investigate a report that the Punjab Police had shared with the ED, wherein, it is alleged that Behl was in close contact with the mafia don, Dawood Ibrahim, and his brother Anees in a gold smuggling racket. The agency will also work to bust the international drug trade route that goes up to Canada, Australia and other countries, sources added.
ED director, Sanjay Kumar Mishra, said the assets that Behl had generated from the crime of drug trade shall be attached under the PMLA. “The STF shall monitor and investigate sensitive, drug related money laundering cases,” Mishra added.