Arrested Punjab ex-policeman was running drugs racket

    By IANS,

    Patiala (Punjab): A dismissed police officer and decorated former international wrestler, arrested by the Punjab Police, told his interrogators his gang was running an international synthetic drug racket.

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    Ex-deputy superintendent of police Jagdish Bhola added that the markets spanned up to Britain, Canada and European countries, a senior police officer said Tuesday.

    Bhola received an Arjuna Award (the highest sporting award from the central government) in 1997 for wrestling.

    The Patiala police arrested him near the Haryana-Delhi border Monday. He told police the drugs used to be transported to foreign countries via air cargo and through human couriers.

    “The modus operandi was hiding the contraband in footwear heels, books, false cavities of containers, women suits, condiment and food product boxes, and picture frames of religious personalities,” Patiala district police chief H.S. Mann said.

    The police nabbed Bhola and four members of his gang at a dhaba on National Highway No. 1 (NH-1) after tracking him for months. The police recovered synthetic drugs valued over Rs.18 crore along with two luxury cars from them.

    Bhola and his associates, produced in a court in Mohali town near Chandigarh Tuesday, were sent to seven days’ police custody.

    The Punjab Police had busted a major international drugs racket in March and seized Rs.700 crore drugs.

    Mann said the gang smuggled over 300 kg synthetic drugs like Ice (M-amphetamine) and heroin out of India.

    “Sports clubs based in Canada and Europe were used for distribution of contraband consignments. Chinese, Vietnamese and other foreign nationals were involved in the preparation of synthetic drugs. They were especially sent to India by foreign recipients for ensuring quality control of the drugs,” Mann disclosed.

    Some associates of Bhola were based in Toronto, Canada, he added.