PUNJAB: Police has arrested four persons who were using courier services to smuggle drugs abroad, busting an international module of drug smugglers reportedly controlled from Canada. The module was involved in smuggling opium and the potent date rape drug ketamine.
Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Counter Intelligence, HKPS Khakh, who had been on the trail of Canadian citizen Davinder Dev for quite some time, said the racket was controlled by Canadian citizens Kamaljit Singh Chauhan, residing in Toronto and hailing from Nagar village of Jalandhar, and Davinder Nirwal from Ganganagar in Rajasthan, residing in Gurbax Singh Nagar of Khanna.
Dev, a big name in the drug smuggling world, had been under close watch by the Enforcement Directorate and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), said Khakh, who strategized the joint operation undertaken by the Counter Intelligence Wing and District Police Jalandhar Rural.
The police seized 4.75 kilograms of ketamine and 6 kg of opium, neatly packed in seven large double-layered vessels of the kind used for preparation of langar.
Apart from Dev (68), the other accused have been identified as Ajit Singh (45) and Tarlochan Singh (42) of Jaitewali village of Jalandhar, and Gurbax Singh (50) of Katthe village in Hoshiarpur.
Acting on a tip-off, the joint team arrested the four, who were travelling in two cars, at Haripur T-Point near Jandu Singha. They were carrying the seven vessels with the drugs hidden in them, to be sent to Canada through a courier company. The use of private couriers or postal services is a new modus operandi used by global drug smugglers to avoid police and other agencies.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the consignment was prepared by Kamaljit Chohan, who visited India last winter and entered into a deal with the accused for smuggling ketamine and opium to Canada. Davinder and Ajit Singh were to arrange drugs from their Indian sources and pack them, while Chohan took responsibility for taking the drugs to Canada through couriers.
Initially, on a trial basis, they sent two consignments of opium, weighing 6 kg and 14 kg, packed in boxes of sweets, to Kamaljit, who took delivery near Jalandhar bus stand through his men, for whom a hunt is on. After successfully taking two deliveries, Kamaljit asked Dev and Ajit to deliver ketamine along with opium.
On Kamaljit’s directions, Ajit purchased 14 large vessels from Malerkotla and, after hiding the drugs between two vessels, he got the brims of the vessels soldered to make them appear as one vessel. Ajit bought opium from Madhya Pradesh and ketamine from Rampur in UP. Ajit Singh involved his brother Tarlochan Singh, a truck driver, and his cousin Gurbax Singh, whose fake ID was used to facilitate the delivery through a courier firm.
Five persons, including the main Canadian organisers, have been booked under NDPS Act and sections 420,465,467,468,471 of IPC, registered in Police Station Patara of Jalandhar rural.
Sources said the drug syndicate had a well-established chain of supply within India and abroad, and the police were on the trail of others involved in the racket. All payments were made through Hawala channels, which are also under investigation.