Canadian National, Three Others Held After Punjab Police Bust International Drug Racket
The four men would hide drugs in two cooking woks joined together, and then sent these to Canada through a courier company.
The Punjab Police said on June 17 that they have busted an international drug smuggling racket, which was being controlled from Canada. Four people, including a Canadian resident who were allegedly using a courier service to smuggle opium and the date rape drug ketamine, have been arrested, the Times of India reported.
The police were able to seize 4.75 kg of the date rape drug and 6 kg of opium. The four men would allegedly hide the drugs in two cooking woks (kadhais) joined together, and then sent these to Canada through a courier company. Similar cooking woks were used in the community kitchens at small gurdwaras, according to the Hindustan Times.
“The mastermind of the gang is a Canadian citizen, Kamaljit Singh Chauhan. He is settled in Toronto, but hails from Jalandhar,” HKPS Khakh, assistant inspector general (AIG), counter-intelligence, was quoted as saying by HT.
Khakh added that they took action after receiving a tip-off. He planned the joint operation that was undertaken by the Counter Intelligence Wing and the district police, Jalandhar Rural, according to TOI.
The teams carried out a special operation on the Haripur T-Point near Jandu Singha in Punjab and arrested four people who were in two cars.
The four men who have been arrested are Davinder Nirwal alias Dev, 68, a Canadian national from Ganganagar, Rajasthan; Ajit Singh, 45; Tarlochan Singh, 42, of Jaitewali village in Jalandhar; and Gurbax Singh, 50, of Katthe village, Hoshiarpur. They were on their way to give the drug consignment to a courier company. Their cars were sized by the police.
Dev, a Canadian national, is a big name in drug smuggling., the police say. He was jailed in January 2014 in connection with a drug case. He got bail in February 2015. Before his arrest in 2014, Dev would allegedly smuggle ketamine in containers from Jaipur to Canada via the Kandla port in Gujarat.
He was watched closely by the Enforcement Directorate and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).“After release from jail, Dev again started his drug smuggling network. He had got to know second gang member Ajit in jail. He joined in to make easy money,” Khak said.
According to preliminary investigations, the drug consignment was prepared by Chauhan, who came to India last winter. He had fixed a deal with the four men to smuggle ketamine and opium to Canada.
“The accused purchased 14 woks from Malerkotla. After concealing the drugs in between layers, the upper brims of the two were soldered. This gave it the appearance of a single unit. Ajit, who specially trained in welding for this purpose, soldered these,” Khakh added. While the opium was bought from Madhya Pradesh, ketamine had been bought from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, according to TOI.
“Interrogation has revealed that Dev and Ajit were to arrange the drugs and pack them inside the woks. Chauhan was to arrange the transport through courier,” Khak was quoted as saying by HT.
The men had allegedly sent two consignments of opium to Canada in the past, according to the police. “Global drug smugglers are now using this new modus operandi of using private couriers or postal services to send drug consignments,” Khak added. The courier company was given fraudulent identity cards.