Sri Lankan drug kingpin, associate held in Chennai’s Karapakkam
- They were booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act 1985 on Friday and the process for their remand is on.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday arrested a Sri Lankan drug kingpin MMM Nawas and his associate Mohamed Afnas, both of whom were operating from Chennai.
The duo were arrested in connection with a major anti-smuggling operation which saw the seizure of 96 kgs of heroin and 18 kgs of methamphetamine along with weapons after the Indian Coast Guard intercepted a Sri Lankan fishing boat, 'Shenaya Duwa' in November near the coast of Thoothukudi.
“Nawas is a high-level drug handler; he was dealing with 96 kg of heroin which has a business value of around ₹50 crore,” said A Bruno, zonal director, NCB-Chennai.
Earlier six Sri Lankan nationals on the boat were arrested and remanded to judicial custody. Following that the NCB took over the case. “In the follow up investigations, we could establish links of the drug trafficking to Chennai,” said Bruno. “We questioned the two men and they confessed on Thursday night. They were the masterminds in organising and transporting the contraband that was seized from the fishing boat which was owned by a Lankan national. During initial investigations the six detained people said that the drugs were transferred to them from Pakistan.” Officials said that the duo was living illegally in the country and that Sri Lankan authorities had issued a red corner notice against Nawas.
NCB sleuths picked up Nawas and Afnas on Thursday from their home in Chennai’s suburb Karapakkam where they lived with their families. “Both the Sri Lankan nationals were residing in Chennai by concealing their nationality without valid passports in India,” said Bruno. Nawas has been in the city for the past 10 years while Afnas joined him three years ago.
They were booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act 1985 on Friday and the process for their remand is on.