Special Cell of Delhi Police has busted an international drug cartel operating across Southeast Asia and the Gulf countries with the arrest of an alleged drug trafficker and recovery of 47kg of heroin and 2kg of cocaine,valued at Rs 150 crore on the international market.
According to police,Autar Singh (48),a resident of Delhi,was arrested Saturday following a tip-off.
Three other members of the gang,A Venugopal Reddy (29),a resident of Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh,Ragmeet Singh (25) and Shurbir Singh (28),both residents of Delhi,were arrested earlier this month and 9kg of heroine,worth Rs 30 crore,recovered from them.
Piecing together the information collected from the above trio and that which was gathered from various other sources,police were able to close in on Autar.
“A trap was laid Saturday near the red light in Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar and Autar was apprehended in the early hours. On a search of his Hyundai Santro car,a total of 32kg of fine-quality heroin and 2kg cocaine was found neatly packed in polythene bags,” said DCP (Special Cell),Sanjeev Kumar Yadav.
Following his arrest,Autar was produced before court and placed in police remand. During interrogation,he disclosed that there was a consignment of 6kg heroin at his residence,Yadav added.
He was then taken to his Tilak Nagar residence where the additional 6kg heroin was recovered. A total drug haul of 49kg has thus been recovered so far during the operation.
The Hyundai car he was driving at the time of his arrest has been confirmed as having been stolen from the Shalimar Bagh area.
Information was received a few months back by police about a drug syndicate operating out of Delhi which was engaged in receipt and onward distribution as well as transnational peddling of high-quality Afghanistan-made heroin,Yadav said.
“It was also learnt that the syndicate was being run by one Ali,based in Kuwait,and one Samiullah,who was based in Afghanistan,and that there were several Pakistani,Indian and Sri Lankan nationals who were engaged in the trade.
“The syndicate was engaged in trans-border smuggling of heroin from Pakistan through the Punjab border into India and in its onward movement to Sri Lanka and other foreign destinations,” Yadav added.
During investigation,it was learnt that several conduits for the cartel hailing from Andhra Pradesh would frequently visit Delhi and meet certain Sikh families who had migrated from Afghanistan over two decades back to settle here.
On December 18,a tip-off was received that Reddy would come to Shankar Road here to collect drugs from the suspected suppliers for the syndicate.
“A trap was laid and Reddy was apprehended and 3kg heroin seized from his possession. By the time he was located,identified and apprehended,the supplier had managed to leave the scene,” said Yadav.
During questioning,Reddy disclosed that he has been into the illegal trade for the last six months along with some associates. Reddy also revealed that during this month alone,he had received two big consignments from a man known to him as ‘Mr Singh’ and another person known to him as ‘Arun’,both residents of Delhi.
Reddy provided inputs about the identities of two persons who were coordinating the trade and living somewhere in the Mahavir Nagar area.
While efforts were on to locate the above duo,a team of Punjab Police on Thursday arrived at the office of the Special Cell and sought assistance to arrest a suspect known to them as Shurbir of Delhi.
Shurbir was wanted in a case registered under NDPS Act in Punjab and,finding the similarities in the suspects being pursued by Special Cell and Punjab Police,a joint team was formed,police said.
“Sources were put to work and,soon,it was learnt that suspects Shurbir Singh and Ragmeet Singh were present in the area of Majnu Ka Tila where they were supposed to meet another courier of the syndicate for delivering a heroin consignment.
“The joint team reached the spot and nabbed the duo. They were found to be in possession of 6kg heroin,” Yadav said.
During preliminary interrogation,the duo said that they were members of a large trans-national drugs racket being jointly coordinated by Ali and Samiullah,police said.
“Ali finds customers while the delivery is done by Samiullah,who controls production in Afghanistan,” said Yadav,adding that from Afghanistan,the contraband is taken to Pakistan and pushed through the Punjab border from where it is carried by road and rail to Delhi.
In Delhi,Tamil and Telugu operators take over and utilise several conduits to send the heroin into the southern part of the country from where Sri Lankan nationals receive it for smuggling into their country,Yadav added.
“The accused disclosed that since January,they have received around 125kg heroin which was pushed down the chain in the manner stated above for bulk and retail buyers,” said Yadav.
Shurbir and Ragmeet also disclosed that Autar,who is a relative of the former,was locally the senior-most member of their syndicate and was dealing with bulk consignments being smuggled into India from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Following the interrogations,efforts were launched to apprehend Autar.
Several raids were conducted,suspect warehouses,parking lots,drug dens,etc. were searched and many known associates of the arrested peddlers examined.
Police’s sustained efforts bore fruit Saturday when Autar was finally nabbed.