June 28, 2021 11:20:42 pm
A local court in Vadodara on Monday sent arrested Canadian national of Chinese origin drug dealer Xie Jeng Fang alias Richard to judicial custody, four days after he was extradited from Hong Kong on Thursday and remanded to the custody of the Special Operations Group (SOG) in Vadodara.
Richard was earlier arrested in November 2008 for alleged possession of a stash of methamphetamine, a psychotropic drug, worth Rs 12 crore.
A release from the SOG in Vadodara on Monday said that during the investigation after his extradition, it has come to light that Richard had planned his escape from the Vadodara Central Jail nearly three years after he was arrested. “Richard, who had spent three years in prison without being able to seek a bail had turned restless. He had come in contact with a fellow inmate, 2008 Surat bomb blast accused Mushtaq Patel. He took Patel into confidence to plan his escape and promised to pay him Rs 6 lakh for facilitating his escape. Patel recruited his nephew Altaf to execute Richard’s escape,” a release from SOG said.
As part of the conspiracy, Richard planned to visit SSG hospital, which is located across the road from the Vadodara Central Jail, and met Altaf at the hospital. Thereafter, Richard returned to the jail and had a mobile phone and SIM card arranged for him through another jail inmate named Nasir, to stay in touch with Altaf, police said.
“On April 28, 2011, Richard made another visit to SSG hospital’s physiotherapy department. While returning to prison, as planned, he escaped on a motorcycle that was already waiting for him. Richard escaped towards the highway and then got into a four-wheeler to travel to Surat, where Altaf had already made arrangements for him to be kept under watch until he paid the promised sum. As per their deal, Richard’s wife Kelly wire transferred Rs 60,000 as the first installment, about four days later. The rest of the money was to be paid once Richard had safely reached Nepal,” SOG said on Monday.
Altaf, along with another accomplice, drove Richard to Nepal and returned after receiving the remaining sum of money. Richard created a fake identity of David Chou with a Malaysian passport in order to travel from Nepal to Hong Kong to meet his family but was arrested at the Nepal airport and imprisoned for five months, police said.
“On being released, he created another fake identity and flew off to Nepal. He then travelled to the Shenzen city of Guangdong Province by sea but was turned back by the authorities, who suspected his fake visa and passport. He was arrested at Hong Kong’s immigration department and imprisoned for five months and a day. He was then also arrested in a money laundering case in gold trading and sentenced to six years six months in prison. But due to precedents and good behaviour, Richard was let off in four years four months,” SOG said.
The police said that Richard then moved to Canada and sought citizenship in order to be able to profess his Catholic faith, which had increasingly become impossible in China, and also changed his name to Richard, the release said. Police added that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is likely to seek Richard’s arrest later.
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