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Illegal African migrants from Delhi supplying heroin in Punjab

After the border zone wing of Punjab police’s anti-drug special task force (STF) arrested Rubia, a Ugandan woman from Delhi, and on her tip-off recovered 1-kg heroin from Tarn Taran, AIG Rachhpal Singh told HT how the cops joined the dots.

punjab Updated: Jul 22, 2018 10:21 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Illegal African migrants,heroin,Punjab
Ugandan national Rubia (centre) arrested from Delhi in Punjab Police custody in Amritsar on Saturday. After her interrogation, cops recovered 1kg heroin buried near Patti in Tarn Taran.(HT Photo)

As the police and Border Security Force (BSF) claim to have managed a “clampdown” on cross-border heroin smuggling from Punjab’s border with Pakistan, smugglers from the state are now making contacts with “some illegal African migrants in Delhi” to get supply, say the police.

After the border zone wing of the state police’s anti-drug special task force (STF) arrested Rubia, a Ugandan woman from Delhi, and on her tip-off recovered 1-kg heroin from Patti (Tarn Taran), assistant inspector general (AIG) Rachhpal Singh told HT how the cops joined the dots.

“We arrested a drug smuggler named Kuldeep Singh of Bhikhiwind in Tarn Taran with 260 gm heroin on June 21. When he was interrogated thoroughly, he told us he had bought the heroin from Rubia,” said the AIG.

After arresting her too, police believe “Delhi-based illegal African migrants” are running “a big nexus” and getting heroin supply from the Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Rajasthan border and some coastal areas.

The AIG said police got arrest warrants for Rubia from a local court, and a team comprising deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Kirpal Singh and inspector Sukhwinder Singh was sent to Delhi to arrest her. “The team arrested her from Rajpura Khurd colony near Chattarpur metro station on Friday. After her interrogation, we also recovered 1 kg of pure heroin buried near Patti in Tarn Taran,” he added.

“Our investigation further revealed that Rubia was booked in a drug case by police in Fazilka too in 2016 after recovery of 500 gm heroin from her possession. She was on bail,” he said. He claimed that expert analysis showed the heroin recovered in Patti was “pure” and “must have been smuggled from Pakistan”. He said Rubia “does not even know how much heroin she has smuggled till now”.

“Some of the African smugglers are even making fake heroin by using some chemicals. Our preliminary investigation says that those operating the nexus from Delhi are illegal migrants. Rubia is also one of them,” he said.

In a similar case, the Ludhiana-rural police on May 17 arrested two Nigerian nationals from Delhi for supplying drugs in Punjab and recovered 2 kg heroin from two places on their information. On May 8, the anti-narcotics wing of the Ludhiana police commissionerate arrested a man named Sunny Sahota with 50gm heroin that he allegedly bought from a Nigerian operating a drug racket in Delhi.

On May 4, the Samrala police arrested constable Davinder Singh and recovered 15gm narcotic powder; he allegedly had links with Nigerian nationals.

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First Published: Jul 22, 2018 10:21 IST