An Army jawan and three others have been arrested in a cross-border arms and drugs smuggling case, in which a BSF jawan and his accomplices were held last week, the Punjab Police Monday said..
With this, total eight people have been arrested in the case, Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said, adding the accused had links to Pakistani drug smugglers.
Giving details, Gupta said Ramandeep Singh, an Indian Army soldier, was apprehended from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, where he was posted, he said. Ramandeep was arrested on the basis of disclosures made by BSF Constable Sumit Kumar, who was arrested along with his three others by the Jalandhar (Rural) police a week ago.
Ramandeep’s three accomplices, Taranjot Singh alias Tanna, Jagjit Singh alias Laddi and Satinder Singh alias Kaala, have also been arrested and are being brought on production warrants, he said, adding another Rs 10 lakh in drug money was recovered from Satinder, taking the total amount of money seized in the case to Rs 42.30 lakh. The accused had earlier received Rs 39 lakh as drug proceeds from Pakistan-based smugglers, the DGP added.
Sumit and Ramandeep Singh are residents of the same village, Magar Mudian, in Gurdaspur district. During questioning, Sumit claimed that he was lured into the cross-border narco-weapons smuggling racket by Ramandeep. Both of them were also lodged at a Gurdaspur jail in a murder case, but got bail. Sumit got bail in January 2018 and Ramandeep in September 2019.
According to the DGP, Ramandeep was running the drugs and weapons smuggling racket with Taranjot Singh and Satinder Singh. Satinder was, for some time, lodged at the Amritsar Jail, where he came in contact with Maulvi alias Mulla, a Pakistani national, who introduced him to Pakistani smugglers, said the DGP.
Gupta said that from Amritsar Jail, Satinder was shifted to Kapurthala jail where he befriended Taranjot and made him into an accomplice. After Satinder stressed on the need to involve a BSF jawan in the racket, Ramandeep persuaded Sumit to join them, the DGP said.
On the modus operandi of the gang, Gupta said Sumit used to send photographs of the fencing on the border, drug-delivery locations and others to Taranjot and Satinder. After the delivery of the consignment on the Indian side at a predetermined time and place, three other accomplices of Taranjot used to collect it from Sumit, he said, adding that Jagjit used to provide his car to them to transport the drug consignments.
Based on investigations carried out so far, the accused are suspected to have smuggled in 42 packets of heroin, a 9 mm foreign-made pistol with 80 live rounds, and two live rounds of a 12 bore gun.
“In line with its strategy of ‘following the money trail’ to hit out hard at the various pillars of the drug smuggling and supply trade, based in Pakistan, UAE and various parts of India, such as Punjab, J&K, Delhi etc, the Punjab Police has successfully busted many modules in the narco-terrorism supply chain, which is operated under the direct watch of the ISI as well as the rest of the Pak establishment to finance its terror operations,” the DGP said.
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