The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday said it has busted an international drugs cartel with the arrest of nine people, including four foreign nationals.
The agency said it has seized 20 kg of high-quality cocaine worth Rs 100 crore belonging to an international drug cartel, taking the value of the contraband seized in recent months to Rs 1,300 crore.
Deputy Director General of Northern Range (NCB) S K JHA said the arrested persons were identified as Akshinder Singh Sodhi and Yogesh Kumar Dhuna of Jalandhar (Punjab), R Singh of Ghaziabad, Sammy of Rudrapur, V Chhabra of Haldwani (Uttarakhand), Richard W Fournier of the US, Ojobe Kingslay and Obiora Tony Okike of Nigeria and M Rainheart from Indonesia.
Probe after drug seizure in Australia
The NCB started working on the case after Australian authorities seized 200 kg methamphetamine in April. It was hidden in a plasma cutting machine and shipped from India. The NCB set up a special investigation team and began working on the case after drug seizures in Australia led to suspected Indian links. The SIT operation, involving multiple searches in places like Punjab, Uttarakhand and Delhi, led to the arrest of nine persons, the Zonal Director (Delhi) said.
“Sodhi stayed in Australia for 10 years and married an Australian national. He was coordinating shipments of drugs from Canada and India to Australia. Kingslay was an important link of the cartel in Delhi and involved in hawala transactions. He had also developed a network in Malaysia, South Africa, Brazil and Australia. Fournier worked as a courier for the drug network and was arrested with 4.2 kg of cocaine from a hotel in Mahipalpur,” he said.
In pan-India-level operations, consignments of psychotropic drugs in India were found to be sourced from Canada, Australia and USA, officials said, and a number of “Indian-origin people in Canada” are under the scanner.
NCB sleuths seized the high-quality cocaine meant for year-end rave parties from multiple locations in the national capital region, including a godown in Ghaziabad and a hotel in Mahipalpur near Dwarka, said K P S Malhotra, Zonal Director (Delhi).
Rainheart was nabbed near Vasant Kunj early this month following a nine-month anti-narcotic operation. “We have dismantled the international cartel with nine arrests,” Malhotra said.
Malhotra said the kingpin of the cartel is a man who holds a Canadian and an Indian passport and is wanted in a number of drug smuggling cases.