Punjab drugs racket has Chinese connection too

Chandigarh: Having busted an international drugs racket worth millions of dollars operating from Punjab, police said Monday that there is a Chinese connection to the crime.

The drugs racket has already been linked to the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, and Afghanistan-Pakistan.

Police said five Chinese associates had visited Chandigarh in 2010 for a quality check of methamphetamine, a substance known as “Ice” in rave party circles, and pseudophedrine, which is used as raw material in the manufacture of Ice.

“The identity of the Chinese visitors has been established; further action is being taken,” a police spokesman said here Monday.

No further details of the Chinese men have been disclosed so far, pending investigation.

Since the first seizure of over 28 kg heroin March 7, Punjab Police claimed to have seized huge quantities of drugs, including lifestyle drugs used in parties, from various places. Based on international prices for these drugs, police said the haul was valued at Rs.484 crore.

The Fatehgarh Sahib district police had Sunday recovered 10 kg of “Ice” and 230 kg of pseudophedrine.

The latest seizures were made from Panchkula (near Chandigarh), Patiala and Sangrur.

Police say international boxer Vijender Singh consumed heroin 12 times from December 2012 to February 2013, while his colleague Ram Singh took it five times.

About Vijender, the spokesman said: “During investigation, it was established that boxers Ram Singh and Vijender Singh took heroin from (arrested Canada-based drug dealer) Anoop Singh Kahlon and Rocky for personal consumption between December 2012 and February 2013.

“As per investigations conducted so far, Vijender Singh consumed the drug about 12 times and Ram Singh about five times. However, they did not actively connive with the smugglers in their activities and nothing was recovered from them – as such both of them are not being arrested in the case at this stage,” the spokesman said.

Ram Singh, a constable, has been dismissed from the police department since it was established that he frequented the smugglers and procured heroin from them.

Vijender Singh is a deputy superintendent of police (under training) with Haryana Police.

About the seizures, the spokesman said: “Both the manufactured Ice and the raw material were being exported to Britain, Canada and Holland by this group of narcotic smugglers through Kulwant Singh, a British national, who was arrested in this case from Delhi on March 19.

“The total wholesale price of these seizures in the international market is Rs.121 crore and the international retail price approximately Rs. 484 crore, according to the figures provided by Kahlon and Kulwant Singh,” he added.

The Fatehgarh Sahib police had earlier (March 7), recovered over 28 kg heroin, worth Rs.130 crore in the international market, from Kahlon’s possession and had arrested him. The drug haul was made from Kahlon’s flat in Zirakpur, near Chandigarh, and his car.

Police also found an SUV, registered in the name of Vijender Singh’s wife Archana, parked outside Kahlon’s flat. Kahlon reportedly told the police that Vijender and fellow boxer Ram Singh were his “clients”.

Punjab Police has already questioned Vijender in connection with the drugs racket. The boxer has, so far, refused to give his blood and hair samples to police.

“Fifteen people, including two Canadian citizens and one Briton, have been arrested so far in this case, whereas more than 25 others in the network are absconding. Police parties have been dispatched to UP, Delhi and Mumbai, apart from several places in Punjab for further investigation and to apprehend the absconders,” the spokesman said.

Among those booked in the drugs haul case were a serving sub-inspector of police, Sarabjit Singh. A retired DSP of the Uttar Pradesh Police, Kirpal Singh, who now runs a pharmaceutical factory in Meerut, has also been arrested. Police said his son is absconding.

Nineteen police officials who were part of a team that busted the international drugs racket have been promoted by Punjab Police.


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