Little India: Overseas Indian, NRI, Asian Indian, Indian American

Sri Lankan National Arrested After Chennai Police Bust Drug Cartel

Representational Image

A Sri Lankan national, who held a fake Indian passport, was arrested along with his associate after a key drug cartel was busted by the Chennai city police last week. The police seized large quantities of methamphetamine from the accused. He was involved in peddling drugs through contacts he made with people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, reports said.

Shabudeen, 55, allegedly obtained a fake Indian passport with the help of his associate Nagoor Hanifa of Nethaji Nagar who was also held. Shabudeen held the passport under the name of Ibrahim, resident of Angappan Naickan street, reported the Hindu.

Shabudeen fell in a trap laid by the Fake Passport Wing of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) on March 2 when he came with the contraband, which is also known as “ice” or meth. According to the CCB, he visited Malaysia, Dubai and Saudi Arabia while he was living in Chennai, and was involved in drug peddling and hawala transactions.

Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said that the suspect was living in the city in a rented house and was involved in peddling drugs. He advised people not to let out their houses to characters who may come across as suspicious. “Since movement of such accused is a danger, people should come forward to share information to the police,” he said in a statement, reported the Hindu.

Shabudeen had been obtaining brown sugar in Mumbai and selling it in his native country Sri Lanka since 1996. He was held by the police and imprisoned for four months in 1999, when he was caught trying to sell contraband that weighed 9 kg. The Narcotics Control Bureau of India was again on a lookout for him after that for peddling brown sugar weighing 12 kg in the country, following which he was arrested in Chennai and sent to the Central Prison till 2012.

His Sri Lankan passport expired after he was released from the prison, and he managed to get hold of forged documents with the help of a broker, who got a passport for him in the name of Ibrahim.

Investigating agencies are now looking into his associations with drug cartels. Shabudeen had been staying illegally in Mannady in Chennai for the last five years.

Data released recently by India’s National Crime Records Bureau revealed that West Bengal recorded the maximum number of crimes registered with foreigners as offenders, at 520 cases, while Delhi recorded 143. A total of 91 cases were registered in Karnataka in 2016. In all, 1,226 crimes were registered against foreigners from 47 countries in 2016. In 2015, the figure was 1,278.