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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Gujarat drug haul: NCB scans finances of Mumbai accused

Sources revealed that the heroin was in its purest form and hence worth crores

mumbai Updated: Aug 15, 2017 01:11 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
Saud Aslam Patel, one of the Mumbai residents arrested
Saud Aslam Patel, one of the Mumbai residents arrested(HT)

The Narcotics Control Bureau is checking the finances and property details of the two Mumbai residents who were arrested on Sunday in the 1,500-kg heroin haul off Gujarat coast. This was the biggest single haul of narcotics in India.

The multi-agency probe will also delve into the Mumbai links to the massive drug bust. The NCB’s Ahmedabad zonal unit arrested Suleiman Sadiq, 45, and Saud Aslam Patel, 23, both residents of Dongri area in Mumbai, from Porbandar. Sources said their job was to get a local buyer for the contraband and they were in touch with Irfan Shaikh and Vishal Yadav, two of the accused arrested earlier this month in the case.

“The probe has revealed that Sadiq and Patel were negotiating with Yadav to buy the contraband,” said a senior officer privy to the investigation. “However, we don’t know where were they going to get the funds for it. We are probing their financial strength and their properties.” The agencies suspect they were looking for a financier or a bug buyer to purchase the contraband.

Sources revealed that the heroin was in its purest form and hence worth crores. “The contraband is generally adulterated. At times, they dilute it so much that the quantity is 20 times more than the original form. The quantity increases and so does the money,” said the officer.

The vessel was spotted around 380km off Dwarka through surveillance by the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), a government intelligence-gathering agency. The Coast Guard pressed its ships and aircraft to observe and prevent the vessel from escaping. The Panama-registered vessel was finally intercepted on July 29 and brought to Porbandar.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 01:11 IST

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