Fishy business: Ugandan woman’s arrest blows lid off drug racket
New conduits: Nigerian lodged in Nabha jail accused of masterminding new mode of smuggling drugs; woman arrested with 1.5-kg heroin was making her third Delhi-Ludhiana trip as a courierpunjab Updated: Jan 23, 2018 12:16 IST
A joint team of the counter-intelligence wing of Jalandhar Police and the Jagraon police busted a gang of drug peddlers that transported the contraband through its supply chain in dead fish.
Uganda-based woman, Rogget Namotabi, 22, with 1.5-kg heroin concealed inside the dead fish on Jagraon-Moga highway on Monday. Namotabi, a resident of Uttam Nagar, Delhi, had entered India in March 2017 on a medical visa. During questioning, she told the police that she was making her third trip to Ludhiana to sell drugs concealed in dead fish.
- 18 foreigners, most of whom arrived in the country on a student visa, have been arrested by the Jalandhar Zone police in 2017.Jalandhar Police have arrested two; Kapurthala Police three; Ludhiana Police five and the Khanna Police have arrested eight.
“Each fish, packed in a box, carried five drug capsules. She travelled by bus to Ludhiana, where two men received the boxes,” Jalandhar Zone IG Arpit Shukla said, adding that they had a tip-off.
“The drug was packed in special capsules of 50-gram each. The kingpin of the racket is a Nigerian, Michael, lodged in Nabha Jail since March 2017 under the NDPS Act,” the IG added.
AIG Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh, who led the Jalandhar police team that busted the racket, said, “The masterminds of the gang are a poppy husk smuggler, Raja Singh alias Raju, and Michael, both lodged in Nabha jail. Raja arranged buyers, while Michael was to get the synthetic drug. The idea of using fish for transport was
Michael’s.” The consignment seized on Monday was meant for Raja’s friend, Gurjant Jand, of Daulewala village, in Moga. “We will seek production warrants for Michael and Raja. Raids will be conducted at Namotabi’s house in Delhi. We will also arrest another woman, Manpreet, who was the main supplier, and is the remaining accused,” the IG added.
More arrests in scam runnning from Ropar jail
In another case, the Jalandhar Rural Police arrested three people, including a 25-year-old Nigerian woman, with 1-kg heroin on Monday. Police claimed that the kingpin of this gang, a Nigerian, John, and another smuggler, Mamu, had been running the racket from the high-security Ropar jail over mobile phones.
The arrested are the woman Faith, Karamjit Singh and Puneet Chhabra. Karamjit and Chhabra were only recently bailed out in another drug peddling case and acted as interpreters between the Nigerian kingpin and the drug suppliers.
SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said, “Faith entered India on a tourist visa in December 2017 and bought heroin from a peddler from Delhi and supplied to Karamjit and Chhabra.”