Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 15
Punjab Police have arrested two members of a module using drones for cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons through an international network, including Pakistan-based smugglers with links to Khalistani operatives, police sources said.
DGP Dinkar Gupta, who addressed a press conference, identified the suspects as Lakhbir Singh alias Lakha and Bachittar Singh. He said four of their associates were lodged at the Amritsar jail, and police were looking for the rest.
“One quadcopter drone with a full Supporter stand and one SkyDroid T10 2.4GHz 10CH FHSS Transmitter, along with mini Receiver and camera support, have been seized, along with one .32 bore Revolver and 1 Scorpio car HR-35M-3709, as well as some live cartridges and drugs,” he said.
Gupta said the main suspect, Lakhbir Singh, a resident of Chak Mishri Khan village, PS Lopoke, was the main suspect in the case, and was nabbed from near Gurudwara Tahla Sahib, PS Chattiwind, Amritsar (Rural), on Monday.
During investigations, Lakhbir Singh revealed that he had procured a Quadcopter Drone from Delhi about four months ago and the drone was currently at the residence of his associate Bachittar Singh at Guru Amardas Avenue, Amritsar, Gupta said.
“Further investigations revealed that Lakhbir Singh was in close and frequent contact with 4 major drug smugglers of Ajnala, who are currently lodged in Amritsar Jail. A search in the prison led to the recovery of a touch smartphone from the possession of Lakhbir’s associate Surjit Masih, a drug smuggler,” he said.
According to the DGP, investigations so far show that Lakhbir Singh had established an extensive communication network with foreign smugglers and entities, and was in close and frequent contact with a notorious Pakistan-based smuggler namely Chishti. Chisthi is also in touch with Pakistan based Khalistani operatives, and has been responsible for smuggling of significant cross–border consignments into India from Pakistan in the past.
It was one Simranjit Singh, currently in Amritsar Jail, who persuaded Lakhbir Singh to purchase a drone for cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons. Simranjit Singh has also been nominated as an accused in the case, said Gupta.
“About four months ago, Lakhbir Singh and his associate Gurpinder Singh went to New Delhi, and purchased a heavy duty Quadcopter Drone from TRD Enterprises, Janakpuri, along with SkyDroid T10 2.4GHz 10CH FHSS Transmitter, for Rs 4 lakh,” he said.
The suspects, as well as some unknown people, have been booked under Section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property), 414 (assisting in concealment of property), sections under the Arms Act and the Aircraft Act, 1954.