ED files charge-sheet against Aliasgar Shirazi and 17 others of his drug syndicate | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

ED files charge-sheet against Aliasgar Shirazi and 17 others of his drug syndicate

Mar 07, 2024 08:14 AM IST

ED files charge-sheet in PMLA court against 18 individuals, including Aliasgar Shirazi, in connection with an alleged drug syndicate shipping opioids illegally to US, UK, and Australia.

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge-sheet in a special PMLA court, indicting 18 individuals, including Aliasgar Shirazi, in connection with an alleged drug syndicate.

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The syndicate is accused of illegally shipping opioids from India to the US, UK, and Australia and channelling the proceeds back to India. The ED chargesheet, filed under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), is against Aliasgar Shirazi and 13 individuals, including Krunal Oza who is associated with a hospitality firm, and four private firms.

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According to the agency source, the ED probe has estimated that the case’s proceeds of crime is to be around 44 crore. Shirazi was taken into custody on January 5 by the ED in connection with its money laundering probe related to the seizure of a synthetic psychotropic narcotic, Ketamine, worth around 7.87 crore in March last year by the Mumbai police. He is currently in judicial custody.

The ED initiated its probe based on 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 against Shirazi and others.

The agency had recently provisionally attached immovable and movable assets worth 5.37 crore belonging to Shirazi and others, including even immovable properties, in the form of flats, shops, and land plots, worth around 5 crore belonging to Shirazi and a few others, and movable properties worth 36.81 lakh, in the form of fixed deposits and deposits in the bank accounts of two persons, and M/s Hustlers Hospitality Private Limited.

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

ED’s investigation revealed that the drug syndicate allegedly operated by Shirazi and others included telecommunication companies running call centres/websites, logistic companies, consultancy companies, and dummy pharma companies wherein illegal shipping of opioids from India to foreign countries and routing of the proceeds of the sale of the same to India using various channels were done. Orders of opioid drugs from the US and the UK were allegedly received by call centres based in India, the sources said.

The opioid drugs were procured allegedly from dummy pharma companies and transported out of India through logistic companies, the sources said. A network of logistics and consultancy companies were allegedly used for laundering the proceeds of crime generated through the illegal sale of drugs and various companies incorporated in the US by members of this syndicate had been operating payment gateways, ED’s probe found. The said payment gateways were allegedly used by the syndicate to route the proceeds of crime generated through illegal sale of opioids in USA to India, agency sources said.

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