International drug cartel's cocaine worth Rs 100 crore seized by Narcotics Bureau

The cartel's arrested members, included an American man and Indonesian woman.

Published: 14th December 2019 10:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2019 10:29 PM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested nine men, including four foreigners, and seized 20 kgs of high-quality cocaine worth Rs 100 crore belonging to an international drug cartel, raising the value of its contraband seized in recent months to Rs 1,300 crore, an official said on Saturday.

The cartel's arrested members, included an American man and Indonesian woman, said officials, adding the latest seizure, days ahead of the New Year eve, by the anti-narcotic Indian federal agency has raised the total value of the contraband of the cartel, seized in India and abroad, specially in Australia, to Rs 1,300 cr, they said.

The NCB sleuths seized the high-quality cocaine meant for the year-end rave parties from multiple locations in the national capital region, including a godown in Ghaziabad and a hotel in Mahipalpur near Dwarka here, NCB Deputy Director General (Northern Region) S K Jha told reporters at a press conference here.

The sleuths also nabbed Indonesian woman M Rainheart from near a high-end mall in Vasant Kunj of the national capital early this month in culmination of a nearly-nine-month-long anti-narcotic operation.

"We have dismantled and disrupted the international cartel with the arrest of nine people. The cocaine that we have seized was supposed to be supplied to rave parties that take place around the new year," said Jha.

"The cocaine is pure and is of fine quality. The estimated market value of the seized contraband is about Rs 100 crore," he added.

This is one the biggest seizures of cocaine in the country.

The drug is primarily abused by youngsters.

Jha said the "kingpin" of the cartel is a man who holds both a Canadian and an Indian passport and is wanted in a slew of drug smuggling cases in the country.

A senior NCB official said the Punjab police has already initiated steps for the extradition of this man, who has been evading arrest in drug cases since 2013.

Jha said the NCB started working on the case after Australian authorities seized about 200 kgs of methamphetamine in April this year in their countries and about 55 of cocaine from a sea container in their waters.

The NCB set up a special investigation team and began working on the case involving the international cartel after the drug seizures in Australia sprang up some "Indian links".

The SIT operation, involving multiple raids in various places including those in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Delhi, has led to the arrest of a total of nine persons, including five Indians, one American, one Indonesian and two Nigerians.

They include Akshinder Singh Sodhi and Yogesh Kumar Dhuna of Jalandhar (Punjab), R Singh of Ghaziabad, Sammy of Rudrapur, V Chhabra of Haldwani (Uttarkhand), Richard W Fournier of the US, Ojobe Kingslay and Obiora Tony Okike of Nigeria and M Rainheart from Indonesia.

They all have been remanded to the NCB custody by a special court, following their arrest under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

"The total international worth of the seized drug consignments, including those seized in Australia, is about Rs 1,300 crore," said the NCB deputy director.

He added that a number of "Indian origin people in Canada" are also under the scanner of the agency and the case is being investigated further.

NCB DDG (Operations) R N Srivastava and Deputy Director (Operations) K P S Malhotra said the agency is coordinating with law enforcement agencies of several countries to take the probe forward.


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