40kg heroin seized off Gujarat coast, was ordered by two Punjab jail inmates - Hindustan Times
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40kg heroin seized off Gujarat coast, was ordered by two Punjab jail inmates

Sep 15, 2022 01:28 AM IST

Ani Chief Obinna and Meeraz Rehmani, lodged in Amritsar and Kapurthala jails, had ordered the consignment, says Gujarat ATS DIG

JALANDHAR: A consignment of 40kg of heroin seized by the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) in a joint operation with the Indian Coast Guard from a Pakistani fishing boat in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast on Wednesday was ordered by two inmates lodged in Punjab jails, according to the ATS.

A consignment of 40kg of heroin seized by the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) in a joint operation with the Indian Coast Guard from a Pakistani fishing boat in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast on Wednesday was ordered by two inmates lodged in Punjab jails, according to the ATS.
A consignment of 40kg of heroin seized by the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) in a joint operation with the Indian Coast Guard from a Pakistani fishing boat in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast on Wednesday was ordered by two inmates lodged in Punjab jails, according to the ATS.

Six Pakistani crew members of the boat were also apprehended.

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Deputy inspector general (DIG) of Gujarat ATS Deepan Bhadran confirmed the development over phone and said two inmates, identified as Ani Chief Obinna (who is a Nigerian) and Meeraz Rehmani, who are presently lodged in Amritsar and Kapurthala jails, respectively, had ordered the consignment from Pakistan. They were running the racket using WhatsApp and VOIP (Internet phone) calls.

“We are in touch with our Punjab counterparts to secure their custody to probe their further linkages and know their modus operandi,” he said, adding that two people from Delhi, identified as Sartaj Malik and Jaggi Singh, alias Virpal Singh, who came to receive the delivery of the consignment, were also taken into custody.

Officials said the heroin was meant to be transported to Punjab by road after being offloaded from the coast. The Jalandhar rural police had in March 2019 arrested Meeraz Rehmani and Ani Chief Obinna, both residents of Delhi, in Phillaur town of the district with 1kg of heroin, when they were on their way to Delhi from Jalandhar.

A senior ATS official said earlier too, heroin consignments were ordered by inmates lodged in Punjab jails. In August this year, Punjab Police had said that seaports of Gujarat and Maharashtra have emerged as the new routes for smuggling drugs into the country. Inspector general of police (headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill had said that in the last two months, 185.5 kg heroin smuggled via seaports of Gujarat and Maharashtra has been recovered. The consignments were supposed to be delivered in Punjab, he had said.

A senior Punjab Police official said the big fish of drug trade in Punjab have changed their route of smuggling from the international border to sea as they can order a large consignment of contraband as compared to smuggling through the barbed fence.

Another official said Punjab has turned into a safe haven for storage of the drugs. Punjab Police had arrested 357 drug smugglers after registering 269 FIRs, including 35 commercial, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act across the state in the last week.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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