THE NARCOTICS Control Bureau (NCB) has approached authorities in Qatar through diplomatic channels in the case of a Mumbai-based couple sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Qatar. The couple was convicted there for carrying 4.1 kg of hashish. NCB DG Rakesh Asthana reviewed the case when he visited Mumbai on Thursday.
The couple identified as Mohammad Shareeq and Oniba Kausar were on their honeymoon and reached Hamad International Airport in Qatar on July 6 last year. On checking a baggage provided to them by Shareeq’s aunt, the authorities found hashish and the couple was placed under arrest. A fast track court sentenced them to life imprisonment.
However, on September 29 last year, Oniba’s father Shakeel Qureshi filed a complaint with DG, NCB alleging that his daughter and son in law were deceived by a Mumbai-based woman, Tabassum Qureshi — his son-in-law’s aunt — and her associate Nizam Kara, also a resident of Mumbai.
Under the garb of a honeymoon package the accused had sent the couple to Qatar, also giving them a bag to carry with contraband concealed in it, Qureshi said in his complaint. He also provided NCB with relevant documents and a CD containing the audio recordings between his son-in-law and Tabussum, along with the complaint.
The NCB began a probe and found that a well-organized drug trafficking syndicate was being allegedly run by Kara involving Tabussum and others. A close surveillance was mounted against these drug syndicate members by NCB. In December, both Kara and Tabassum were arrested by Mumbai police in another narcotics case.
Eventually after Kara was released on bail, the NCB recorded his statement on October 14. An official said that he admitted that the couple were sent to Qatar by him and his associate Tabussum. The couple were handed over the luggage bag purported to be containing Zarda/Tobacco by them, whereas Charas was concealed in the luggage instead of Tobacco.
An official said, “We are in the process of sending the necessary paperwork to Qatar to show how the couple were innocent and had been cheated by their relative.”
An official said along with this case, Asthana who came to Mumbai on Thursday reviewed the investigation into the narcotics case involving Bollywood in which over 20 persons have been arrested.
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