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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Court rejects anticipatory bail plea of man who ‘smuggled contraband’

The court said the prima facie evidence shows that the man is part of a chain which engages innocent persons to send drugs internationally.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
Updated: December 6, 2021 8:13:35 am
In 2019, Mohammed Shariq and Oniba Qureshi had left for Qatar after the former’s aunt, Tabassum, insisted on sending them for a holiday.

A SPECIAL court in a recent order rejected the anticipatory bail application of a 34-year-old man allegedly involved in sending a Mumbai-based couple to Qatar in 2019 with contraband which led them to spend nearly two years in a jail there. The court said the prima facie evidence shows that the man is part of a chain which engages innocent persons to send drugs internationally.

In 2019, Mohammed Shariq and Oniba Qureshi had left for Qatar after the former’s aunt, Tabassum, insisted on sending them for a holiday. Tabassum had given a bag to the couple to be given to a friend in Doha. When they reached Doha, the couple was arrested after 4.1 kg of hashish was found concealed in the bag given by their aunt. They were subsequently sentenced to ten years in jail.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) conducted a probe here and arrested Tabassum and others. The couple was acquitted in Doha and returned to the country in April this year.

The 34-year-old, Yasin Abdulla, was named an absconding accused and a chargesheet was filed against him. In a pre-arrest plea filed by him, Abdulla claimed there is no evidence against him, nor any recovery made from him.

The prosecution opposed the plea stating that the modus operandi of the syndicate which Abdulla is a part of involves finding a couple and sending them to a foreign country with contraband. The prosecution claimed that Abdulla looked after getting the visa, air tickets, bearing travel and hotel expenses. It also claimed that he had sent five couples with contraband between March-July 2019.

The prosecution also claimed that there were similar cases filed against him, one by the Bandra unit of the Anti-Narcotic Cell of the Mumbai police and one by NCB.

The court said that the prima facie evidence showed that Abdulla, Tabassum and three others ‘indulged in smuggling of contraband at international level’.

“…it transpires that applicant (Abdulla) is engaged in the illegal activities of transporting the prohibited narcotic substances at international level. The modus operandi of the applicant and other accused is to engage the innocent persons and to send contraband secretly through their bags. Thus, prima-facie it shows that the accused persons worked as syndicate and applicant is the part of that chain and he is the part of organized crime. Furthermore, it can be seen that the applicant was absconding and despite efforts taken by police, he could not be found,” special judge V V Patil said.

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