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Punjab Police drug trail probe exposes Pak links

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON FEB 16, 2020 10:23 PM IST

The probe into the drug trail after the arrest of gangster Sukhpreet Singh, alias Budha, has traced the links of other gangsters to the nexus leading to Pakistan, according to Punjab Police.

Wanted gangster Budha, was deported from Armenia and arrested when he landed at the Delhi airport in November 2019.

Jagdeep Singh, alias Jagga, and Gurvinder Singh, alias Pehalwan, were arrested three days ago with Pakistani sim cards in a joint operation of the organised crime control unit and the Mohali Police, a Punjab Police spokesperson said. Both belong to Kot Dharam Chand Kalan village in Tarn Taran district.

Investigations so far have revealed that Jagga and Pehalwan, who were absconding since 2014-15, received a large quantity of heroin and fake Indian currency from Pakistan through various routes. They were wanted by the Directorate Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Rajasthan Police and the Punjab Police for receiving huge consignments of heroin from Pakistan, the spokesperson said.

Both Jagga and Pehalwan had evaded arrested for the past five years by operating as transporters (Dhillon Transport Company) on the route from New Delhi to Madhya Pradesh. They had set up their own empire with the drug money and had purchased a house at Makhu in Ferozepur. They had also purchased about four acres of agricultural land at Kot Dharam Chand Kalan village, the spokesperson said.

Investigations have revealed huge money transactions in their bank accounts, the spokesperson added.

The accused received drug money from Pakistan dealers through hawala. Jagdeep Singh, alias Jagga, was involved in the cross-border smuggling of heroin since 2008, when he first started using Pakistan sim cards. Jagga received the drug consignments from Jecka Pehalwan and Abad Ali, both Pakistanis, in Rajetal and Mahawa villages near the Attari border by using Pakistan sim cards, which were functional in the region. He also used to procure drug consignment from Bodi Lamma, a resident of Pakistan, near the Fazilka-Ferozepur border, the spokesperson said.

Jagga came in contact with Malik, a resident of Narwad village of Pakistan, in 2015 and had been receiving huge consignments of drugs from the latter since then. He received most of his drug consignments from Pakistan through the Ravi and from the fencing in the plastic tubes. The drug money was transferred by Pakistan dealers through the hawala route, he said.

After his arrested twice in drug cases, Jagga started using WhatsApp on an international number. He was initially arrested in a drug case involving the seizure of 13-kg heroin in 2009. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2011 but jumped parole in 2014. He was again arrested by the DRI in a case involving the recovery of 42 kg of heroin in January 2015. He fled from police custody during in October 2015 and was absconding since then.

Pehalwan had been absconding since 2014 in a case involving the seizure of 10-kg heroin seizure. To evade arrest, he had changed his appearance and had started tying a turban, the police spokesperson said.

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