CHANDIGARH: The arrest of dreaded gangster Sukhpreet Singh alias Budda, recently deported from Armenia, has led to the apprehension of 15 of his criminal associates, along with seizure of a large number of weapons, drugs and foreign currency.
The arrests include that of Bidhi Chand of Khuda Lahora, retired Deputy Passport Officer, who was posted at Public Relations Officer (PRO) in Chandigarh during 2007-08.
He received 50,000 rupees from Gaurav Patyal to prepare his Indian passport on a fake name and address and to deliver it by hand to him. Bidhi retired as Deputy Passport Officer in 2011.
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said Budda had been trying to get into US illegally from Armenia at the time of his detention.
Since Budda fled from Punjab in April 2018 to UAE after the attack on Parmish Verma, he had travelled to many countries, including UAE, China, Iran, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, Georgia and Singapore.
However, Punjab Police had been tracking his movements during his stay in different countries.
The Punjab Police is now trying to identify his contacts in these countries, said the DGP, adding that Police teams from various districts, including Ludhiana, Moga, Faridkot, Khanna, SAS Nagar, and Amritsar, were working on further leads, obtained during the course of investigation, under the supervision of Organized Crime Control Unit of the Punjab Police.
Giving details of the seizures made on the basis of Budda’s interrogation, Gupta said six weapons including one carbine, one bulletproof jacket, 3 kg Opium, seven vehicles, ammunition and total cash of 13.80 lakh rupees and 1700 USD has already been recovered from him and his associates.
Budda was tracked down in Armenia and detained on the basis of a Red Corner Notice (RCN) issued by Interpol and thereafter efforts were made to secure his deportation. Consequently, he was arrested from IGI Airport, Delhi, by Punjab Police on November 23.