ED books 20, including two Pak nationals, for money laundering
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has booked 20 persons, including at least two Pakistanis, under money laundering charges in the case of seizure of 532-kg of heroin and 52-kg of mixed narcotics at the Attari border in June 2019. The Customs had seized the contraband, being smuggled in a consignment of rock salt from Pakistan, at the Integrated Check Post (ICP).
The accused have been identified as Ranjeet Singh, alias Rana (kingpin); Tariq Ahmad Lone; Farook Lone; Sohaib Noor and Amir Noor, the Pakistan nationals; Jasbir Singh; Nirbhail Singh; Sandeep Kaur; Ajay Gupta; Iqbal Singh; Amit Gambhir, alias Bobby, a resident of Amritsar and others.
Sources privy to the development said the ED would seek documents, including bank accounts and investigation details, from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is conducting the probe. “We have been tracing the money trail in the drugs network and will question the accused soon,” a senior ED official, not authorised to speak to the media, told HT.
In July 2019, the NIA had taken over the probe and filed two charge-sheets against 17 persons, arrested for their alleged involvement in this case in the NIA special court at Mohali under sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
In May this year, the NIA and police of Punjab and Haryana, in a joint operation, had arrested Ranjit Singh alias Rana, the kingpin of the racket, and his brother Gagandeep from their hideout at Begu village in Sirsa. In a supplementary charge-sheet the same month, the NIA had said that investigation had revealed evidence of generation of funds through the sale of narcotics smuggled across the international border for funding terrorist activities in Jammu & Kashmir.
In its first charge-sheet filed in December 2019, the NIA had said, “This is a case of narco-terrorism, having national and international implications with evidence of generation of funds through the proceeds of sale of narcotics smuggled from across the international border.”