Global drug racket spread across 7 countries busted, drugs worth Rs 1.3 cr seized
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Saturday claimed to have busted an international drug racket that was spread across at least seven countries. In multiple raids in Delhi-NCR, Punjab and Uttarakhand over the last four months, the bureau said it seized 20kg cocaine and arrested nine persons, including foreigners.
The bureau said the racket used India as both a destination and transit for their consignments. Officials said the drug syndicate operated in India, Colombia, USA, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, and Nigeria, and involved in smuggling and sale of cocaine and methamphetamine.
KPS Malhotra, zonal director of NCB, said that in April 200 kgs of methamphetamine was seized in Australia.
The Australian agencies found that the shipment had come from Canada and that it had Indian connections as well. They then alerted the NCB.
“We worked on inputs from the Australian authorities. It was learnt that a person named Akshinder Singh Sodhi, who was earlier involved in a major drug case unearthed by Mumbai Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), was involved in various shipments of drugs to Australia via Canada,” said Malhotra.
In September, Malhotra said, Sodhi and his associate Yogesh Kumar Dhuna were caught with 422gm of cocaine. Questioning revealed that the consignment of cocaine had come in a container of wrought iron that landed at Mumbai Port, the officer said.
Working on this information, NCB arrested a person named Ram Kash Singh with 10kg heroin from Ghaziabad on December 4.
“Singh revealed that the members of the syndicate had taken several flats in NCR which were being used to store and transit drugs. He used to assist the syndicate in delivering the contraband to clients. His interrogation led to the arrest of S Singh (who also goes by the name Sammy) and V Chhabra from Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur and Haldwani on December 5,” said Malhotra.
According to deputy director general of NCB, SK Jha, another team caught an Indonesian woman M Rainheart with half kilogram of heroin while 4.5 kilogram of the contraband was seized from US national Richard Walter Fournier and his Nigerian friend. All three were caught on December 6 from south Delhi areas. Their interrogation led to the arrest of another Nigerian with 4.5 kilogram of cocaine. Police identified the two Nigerians as Ojobe Kingslay and Obiora Tony Okike.
Narcotics Control Bureau officials said that the Indonesian woman had come to India in November while the US national is being interrogated to ascertain the date when he had landed on Indian soil.
“He worked as a courier for the international drug cartel based in America and having international linkages through Nigerian nationals in various countries. His air ticket was booked from India by one Nigerian national,” said Jha.
Two key members, an Indian of Columbian origin and another Indian, are absconding.
Jha said that a special investigation team has been formed to probe further links of the network.
“The total worth of the seizure effected from this syndicate is Rs 1,300 crores,” said Jha.