ED attaches assets worth ₹5.37 crores in probe against drug syndicate | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

ED attaches assets worth 5.37 crores in probe against drug syndicate

Mar 02, 2024 06:32 AM IST

ED's Mumbai unit attaches assets worth ₹5.37 crore linked to narcotics trafficker Aliasgar Shirazi. Probe reveals drug syndicate's money laundering activities.

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) Mumbai unit has provisionally attached immovable and movable assets valued at 5.37 crore linked to alleged narcotics trafficker Aliasgar Shirazi and others as part of its money-laundering investigation against the purported drug syndicate.

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The attached assets include seven immovable properties, such as flats, shops, and land plots, worth approximately 5 crore, belonging to Shirazi and few others. Movable properties amounting to 36.81 lakh, in the form of fixed deposits and bank accounts held by two individuals and M/s Hustlers Hospitality Private Limited, were also seized.

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The ED estimated the proceeds of crime in the case to be around 44.50 crore. Shirazi was arrested on January 5 by the ED in connection with a money laundering probe related to the seizure of synthetic narcotic Ketamine, valued at around 7.87 crore, by the Mumbai police in March the previous year. Currently in judicial custody, Shirazi’s arrest followed a case registered by the Jogeshwari police station under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, and the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

ED’s investigation revealed that an alleged drug syndicate operated by Shirazi, involving telecommunication companies running call centres/websites, logistic firms, consultancies, and dummy pharmaceutical companies. The syndicate is accused of illegally shipping opioids from India to foreign countries and laundering the proceeds back to India through various channels. Call centres based in India allegedly received orders for opioid drugs from the United States and the United Kingdom. The drugs were procured from dummy pharma companies and transported out of India via logistic companies.

The syndicate is said to have used a network of logistics and consultancy firms for laundering the proceeds of crime generated through the illegal sale of drugs. Companies incorporated in the US by syndicate had been operating payment gateways.

“The said payment gateways have been used by this syndicate to route the proceeds of crime generated through the illegal sale of opioids in the USA to India, “ an ED source said. “During the investigation, it was found that there were huge cash deposits in the accounts linked to Shirazi and related persons/entities, which are part of proceeds of crime generated through illegal selling of various drugs,” the source said.

Earlier, ED had conducted search operations at various locations in this case that led to the seizure/freezing of bank accounts, fixed deposits, and gold/ jewellery, among others, amounting to around 2.9 crore.

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