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IPS officer held in Mumbai drug bust

IPS officer held in Mumbai drug bust

Author: Express news service
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: January 26, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ips-officer-held-in-mumbai-drug-bust/415248/

An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, currently posted as the deputy director of the Enforcement Directorate in Kochi, has been arrested by the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) for allegedly running a drug racket. The officer, Saji Mohan, 41, was posted as the zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Chandigarh for two years, until December 31 last year.

ATS officials said Mohan, a 1995 batch IPS officer from the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, was circulating part of a large heroin consignment seized by the Chandigarh NCB, which he had set aside. The racket was exposed after two of his agents, Vicky Oberoi (57) and Rajesh Kumar (30), were arrested on January 17.

Oberoi, who has a prawn culture business, is a resident of Oshiwara and used to make frequent trips to Gurgaon where he posed as a film financier or producer. It was on one of these trips that he came in contact with Mohan. Kumar is a police constable from Gurgaon who was suspended for a brief period before being reinstated recently.

"On receiving information that a consignment of drugs would be brought into Oshiwara, we laid a trap on January 17. In the evening, we intercepted a Maruti SX4 which had two men in it. We recovered a total of 1.85 kg of heroin from the two men. When interrogated, they told us that the heroin was supplied to them by a senior officer. The ATS verified these claims and launched an operation. On Saturday evening, an ATS team arrested Saji Mohan from Classic Club in Oshiwara. We recovered 12 kg of heroin from him," said acting ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi.

According to the ATS, a kilogram of heroin is worth about Rs 1 lakh in the domestic market and Rs 1 crore in the international market. The police also seized a laptop and some CDs from Mohan, who was booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act for possession and supply of drugs, and remanded to police custody till January 30.

"For a year and eleven months in 2007 and 2008, he was posted as the zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau in Chandigarh. A large consignment of heroin weighing about 50 kgs was seized under his supervision. We believe Mohan showed the recovery to be of a lesser quantity and illegally set aside 30 to 35 kgs from this consignment. He was running this racket by circulating the portion that he had set aside, and further inve-stigations are on," said Raghuvanshi.

During his tenure in Chandigarh, Mohan had launched "Operation Tricity" to make Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali free of drugs. According to sources, the 50-kg consignment was seized by the NCB in October 2007. Sources said Mohan, the son of an army officer, had played an active role in the suspension of several police officers in Chandigarh, and had even won a gallantry medal in 1999.

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