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Punjab: Gangster Budha drug probe throws up Pakistan link, hawala transactions

According to the police spokesperson, both Jagga and Pehalwan had evaded arrest for the past five years by operating as transporters, through their own Dhillon Transport company, on the route from New Delhi to Madhya Pradesh.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: February 17, 2020 5:59:12 pm
Sukhpreet Singh aka Budha

The Punjab Police on Sunday said that two men — Jagdeep Singh alias Jagga (aka Billa) and Gurvinder Singh alias Pehalwan, arrested three days ago as part of drug trail exposed by dreaded gangster Sukhpreet Singh aka Budha — are part of a powerful nexus involving “big fish” in Pakistan. Budha was deported from Armenia and arrested when he landed at the Delhi airport in November 2019.

A statement by Punjab Police said: “Pakistan SIM cards have been recovered from the duo, both residents of village Kot Dharam Chand Kalan in Tarn Taran district…Investigations so far have revealed that the duo, who had been absconding since 2014-15, had received large quantity of heroin and fake Indian currency from Pakistan through various routes via different modes. They were wanted by Directorate Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Rajasthan Police and Punjab Police in cases related to receiving huge consignments of heroin from Pakistan.”

It added: “Investigations have revealed huge money transactions in their accounts…initial interrogation revealed they received drug money transferred by Pak dealers through Hawala.”

According to the police spokesperson, both Jagga and Pehalwan had evaded arrest for the past five years by operating as transporters, through their own Dhillon Transport company, on the route from New Delhi to Madhya Pradesh. They had set up their own empire with the drug money and had purchased a house at Makhu district in Ferozepur, along with five new trucks from New Delhi. They had also purchased about four acres of agricultural land at Kot Dharam Chand Kalan village, the spokesperson said.

Jagga was involved in the cross-border smuggling of heroin since 2008, when he first started using Pakistan SIM cards.

“He came in contact with Gurvinder Singh aka Pehalwan the same year (2008), and later connected with Abad Ali aka Baadi aka Baadli of Pakistan. Jagga received the drug consignments from Jecka Pehalwan and Abad Ali, both Pakistanis, in the area of villages Rajetal and Mahawa drain near Attari border by using Pakistan SIM cards, which were functional in this region. He also used to procure drug consignment from Bodi Lamma, a resident of Pakistan, near Fazilka-Ferozepur border,” said the spokesperson.

He added: “Jagga came in contact with Malik, a resident of village Narwad of Pakistan, in year 2015, and had been receiving huge consignments of drugs from Pakistan from the latter since then. He received most of his drug consignments from Pakistan through Ravi river and from the fencing in the plastic tubes.”

Incidentally, Gurdev Singh, father of Jagga, was also convicted for 11 years imprisonment in a drug case of 2005. He got parole and jumped the parole in 2014 and is still absconding.

“Pehalwan, a cousin of Jagga, had been absconding since 2014 in a case of 10 kg heroin seizure. To evade arrest, he had changed his appearance and had started tying a turban,” the spokesperson further stated.

“After he was arrested twice in NDPS cases, Jagga started using WhatsApp on an international number. He was initially arrested in a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) case of 13 kg heroin registered in year 2009. He was convicted to ten year imprisonment in 2011 in this case, but jumped the parole in 2014. He was again arrested by DRI in a 42 kg heroin case in January 2015. He fled from police custody during his court appearance at Tarn Taran in this case in October 2015 and was absconding since then,” the spokesperson said.

The statement said that the two were arrested in a joint operation by the Organized Crime Control Unit (OCCU) and Mohali Police. They were booked in an NDPS case at Kharar city police station and one kg heroin was recovered from them.

“Investigations into the racket, in which around two dozen big fish have been apprehended so far, are led by DSP Bikram Brar under the supervision of OCCU Assistant Inspector General Gurmeet Chauhan and ADGP (Internal Security) RN Dhoke,” read the Punjab Police statement.

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