Court to Ask Govt to Seek Property Details of 18 NRIs Named in Punjab Drug Case
The Enforcement Directorate is seeking details of 18 NRIs from Canada and the United Kingdom, who are allegedly involved in the Bhola drug case in Punjab.
Four months after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved a letter of request in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court to find out the details of properties owned by 18 NRIs, the application was finally allowed on Jan. 20.
The ED seeks details of 18 NRIs from Canada and the United Kingdom, who are allegedly involved in the Bhola drug case. Among those named are Satpreet Satta, who now lives in Edmonton, Canada, and Richmond native Parminder Pindi. Satta was reportedly an influential figure during the SAD-BJP regime in Punjab during 2007-12.
“The court will forward the ED’s application to the Union Ministry of External Affairs to open diplomatic channels and ask Canada and the UK to collect property details of the accused,” ED’s special prosecutor Jagjitpal Singh Sarao said, according to the Hindustan Times.
Jagdish Bhola was a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Punjab who allegedly operated a drug cartel in the state along with politicians and NRIs. He was arrested by the Fatehgarh Sahib police in November 2013.
“Investigation shows that Bhola’s associates parked a huge amount of money generated from the illegal drug racket in buying properties in the UK and Canada,” Sarao said. “Their details are vital. Many of them are NRIs too. On our list of 18, we also had Anup Singh Kahlon, an NRI based in Canada, who is one of the key accused in the drug haul case along with his wife Ranjit Kaur.”
Kahlon was arrested in 2013, when he alleged that he had supplied drugs to boxers Vijender Singh and Ram Singh.
Other NRIs named in the list are Roy Bahadur Nirwal; Parminder Singh; Madan Lal; Davinder Singh Narwal; Pradip Singh Dhaliwal; Satpreet Singh; Tony Parmod Sharma; Amarjit Singh Kooner; Ranjit Singh Aujla; Lehmdar Singh and Sukhraj Singh Kang.
The information has been sought under Section 57 of the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002.
The Congress government in Punjab, which assumed office in 2017, has been after the drug cartels in the state and recently asked the Ministry of External Affairs to seek extradition of the people named in the crime.