Narcotics smugglers’ properties sealed

Narcotics smugglers' properties sealed
Narcotics smugglers' properties sealed

A drug smuggling syndicate involving white-collar criminals has been exposed by the Narcotics Control Bureau following the arrest of 16 individuals, including two Afghans, over a period of two months. To mislead the NCB, they would mint quick money, invest it in liquor companies, rice mills, ghee trading, and agencies of reputed brands.

As a result of their links in Afghanistan and Pakistan, drug smugglers procured the contraband, couriers handled the delivery from Mundra Port, ICT Atari and Jammu border, two Afghan chemists in Ludhiana processed opium and morphine into heroin and other variants, and criminals and gangsters distributed the drugs.

A syndicate of businessmen supplied the syndicate with money, utilizing the cash through a network of companies and import-export transactions.

NCB officials said they are also investigating various other front businesses of this drug syndicate as well as their associates.

Several investigating officers from other NCB zones have now joined a special investigation team. Investigation teams are already probing deeper into the syndicate with specialised financial and technical expertise.

The federal government has frozen over 60 bank accounts and 30 properties owned by this group.

During investigations, it was discovered that the group operated nightclubs and restaurants in Tricity. Clubs and restaurants are also being investigated, NCB officials said, since such businesses hardly operate in isolation.

In Ludhiana, NCB officials were shocked to discover large quantities of morphine being produced. The officials said all processed drugs, including heroin, are made from morphine, adding that the two Afghans (chemists), although not literate, were familiar with the process.