Punjab Police smash inter-state drug cartel spanning over 50 districts; arrest 20 individuals

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24

In one of many largest crackdowns on the provision of pharmaceutical opioids throughout the nation, the Punjab Police has busted an inter-state drug cartel working in additional than 50 districts unfold throughout 11 states of the nation, utilizing the hawala channel route, a press launch by the state authorities acknowledged.

As many as 20 individuals have already been arrested with an enormous cache of medicine, drug proceeds-money and 5 autos, in an operation that spanned over eight weeks.

Disclosing the small print of the case and the investigations, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta stated the drug cartel, generally known as ‘Agra Gang’, was pushing pharmaceutical opioids (medication) into the markets all throughout India by diverting medication in enormous portions from drug producers, suppliers, wholesalers and retail chemists unfold out throughout the nation.

Of the 20 folks arrested to date, 16 are from Punjab, two from UP and one every from Haryana and Delhi.

With the arrest of those gang members, a well-oiled community of drug syndicate pushing consignments to the tune of 10 to 12 crores of intoxicating pharmaceutical opioids within the type of tablets/capsules/injections/syrups per thirty days into Punjab and different components of the nation has been completely smashed hundreds of youth who have been or might have gotten hooked to those medication have been saved from drug abuse and dependancy, the press launch additional learn.

The gang was busted by a Barnala police workforce, comprising IPS Dr Pragya Jain, ASP Mehal Kalan, SP(D) Sukhdev Virk, DSP (D), Ramninder Deol, CIA in-charge Inspector Baljit Singh, working underneath the supervision of SSP Barnala Sandeep Goel.

The arrests of the 20 males, together with one of many cartel’s kingpins, have been comprised of numerous places in Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. As many as 27,62,137 intoxicating tablets, capsules, injections and syrup bottles have been seized from them, together with drug proceeds cash of Rs 70,03,800, stated Gupta.

Interestingly, the Barnala police, in March 2020, had equally busted a ‘Mathura Gang’ and seized 44 lakh intoxicants and Rs 1.5 crore drug cash/proceeds within the largest ever such haul by the Punjab police, the press launch learn.

The case started to unravel in May with the arrest of Balwinder Singh, alias Nikka, and 4 others, together with 2,85,000 intoxicating tablets throughout an investigation underneath Sections 21, 22, 25, 29, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. This additional led to the arrest of Julfikar Ali with 12,000 intoxicating tablets. Julfikar’s questioning revealed the function of Harish as one of many masterminds within the inflow and provide of pharmaceutical opioids into Punjab.

Following these arrests, the Barnala police spent over two months growing the out there leads, laying out elaborate surveillance plans and a entice was then laid out, with a particular workforce being despatched to West Bengal from the place Harish was nabbed. It was Harish who disclosed the modus operandi of the gang and its chain of provide of psychotropic medication not solely in Punjab but additionally in over 11 states of the nation.

Subsequent raids in UP, Haryana Delhi, Punjab led to arrest of different gang members, together with the seizure of a giant amount of pharmaceutical opioids, the drug proceeds-money and autos.

The DGP stated investigations into the gang’s modus operandi to date had revealed that Harish posed as a Medical Representative to ascertain contact with chemists and pharmacists through the use of info equivalent to tackle and telephone quantity, which he simply discovered over the web and social media.

“The contraband smugglers used a pre-identified network of couriers/transport/goods carriers, operating from major cities namely Delhi, Agra, Amritsar, Jaipur, Gwalior and Bhopal, and delivered consignments to various locations in several states with the help of fake/ undervalued bills using local transporters. Payment and transfer of money were done using the hawala channels, and also through multiple cash transactions into a bank account specially created for this purpose,” the DGP added.

The intoxicants seized are largely pharmaceutical opioids. Many of those pharmaceutical merchandise have reputable and vital medical use; nevertheless, these merchandise can’t be offered with out a legitimate medical prescription from a registered medical practitioner. The gang was diverting these intoxicants, that are medically used for ache aid and therapy for opioid dependence, for extra-medical use, which may result in main drug overdose points and even deaths.

The DGP stated the operation carried out by Punjab Police and the large restoration of pharmaceutical opioids was extremely vital and was a significant hit to the provision of medicine in Punjab, as in accordance with ‘Magnitude of Substance Use in India-2019’, a examine commissioned by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, New Delhi, pharmaceutical opioids (which itself consists of a wide range of medicines of the opioid group) are the second mostly used opioids in India (0.96 per cent), after heroin, which is essentially the most generally used opioid in India (1.14 per cent).

It is estimated that the dangerous use/dependent use of pharmaceutical opioids constitutes about 40 per cent of the drug downside within the state.

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