Punjab police bust inter-state drug racket, 72-quintal poppy husk seized

In a major crackdown, the counter intelligence wing of the Punjab police busted an inter-state drug racket and recovered 180 bags of poppy husk, hidden in a truckload of raw bananas, at Mehna village in Moga, on Monday.

The truck coming from Rajasthan to Punjab was intercepted at the Baghapurana-Jagraon road and poppy husk totalling 72.5 quintals was seized. The bags were filled with 40kg poppy husk each.

The police arrested two persons, identified as Dharamjit Singh of Landeke village and Gurbir Singh of Rattian village and impounded the truck. While three prime smugglers, Jagdev Singh alias Deban and Shinder Singh of Daulewala village, 17km from Moga district headquarters, and Buta Singh of Charik village taking advantage of the darkness managed to flee in a white Scorpio car.

Addressing a press conference, assistant inspector general (AIG) of counter intelligence wing, HPS Khakh said that the police got a tip-off that a truck escorted by a Scorpio car is carrying huge consignment of poppy husk.

“We informed the Moga senior superintendent of police Gurpreet Singh Toor, who then directed the Mehna Police team to set up a check point in the village in the wee hours of Monday morning,” said the AIG.

“Poppy husk has a different kind of smell. The police sensed something fishy and stopped the truck. During checking, the team found 180 bags filled with poppy husk were concealed under raw bananas,” Khakh said.

He further added that during preliminary investigation it came to notice that a particular module of smugglers, led by Deban, planned to take one heavy consignment of poppy from Rajasthan state. “For this they had hired Dharamjit Singh to procure the consignment from Rahul, a resident of Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, and a poppy husk contractor,” said the AIG.

“The smugglers were using the hawala process to transfer money to their Rajasthan counterparts, which is a new modus operandi, and is being investigated,” he said.

Khakh said that smugglers have been opting a new method to smuggle drugs into the state by concealing poppy husk under something to avoid its pungent smell.

Meanwhile, a case under Sections 15/25/29-61-85 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered at the Mehna police station Moga against all the accused.

First Published: Aug 06, 2018 20:32 IST

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