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Heroin pushed by IPS officer has Pak markings: ATS

Heroin pushed by IPS officer has Pak markings: ATS

Author: Express news service
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: January 28, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/heroin-pushed-by-ips-officer-has-pak-markings-ats/416005/

In a new twist to the alleged heroin racket run by former zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau Saji Mohan, who was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday, the IPS officer has reportedly told ATS investigators that consignments of heroin sourced from Pakistan were delivered to his house in Chandigarh by a smuggler operating on the Jammu and Kashmir border.

According to the ATS, the seized packets of "high-grade" white heroin bear Pak markings like '555' and 'B52.' The ATS recovered an additional 25 kg of heroin - its first haul was of 13.85 kg - from a rented apartment in Naigaon on Monday.

Mohan, a 1995 batch IPS officer, was recently posted as the Deputy Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Kochi, and was with NCB in Chandigarh from Feb 2007 to Dec 2008. It was around this period that he also handled NCB's Srinagar office.

On Sunday, the ATS had said that a large consignment of heroin was seized by NCB in Chandigarh in November 2007 and that Mohan illegally set aside a part of that which he then tried to "circulate" through two Mumbai agents Vicky Oberoi and Rajesh Kumar.

"Mohan floated the story that the heroin he was attempting to circulate was part of a consignment seized by NCB in Chandigarh. However, this was just to throw our investigation off track. He has now told us that he used to get the heroin from a narcotics smuggler operating from Jammu and Kashmir and who used to source the drugs from across the border. The heroin packets seized bear Pak markings," said Additional Commissioner of Police (ATS) Parambir Singh today.

"The smuggler delivered heroin to Mohan's house on at least four occasions in 2008. Mohan was holding additional charge of NCB in Jammu and his job brought him into contact with such smugglers. We are on the lookout for this smuggler, although this version of events is subject to verification," said Singh.

According to ATS sources, the smuggler concerned has a prior arrest in Pakistan. As per the agreement between the two, the smuggler was supposed to take Rs 5 lakh per kg of heroin after which it was supposed to be circulated and the proceeds shared with Mohan and the agents.

"The smuggler was paid a small token amount by Mohan who was handed over the consignment on trust," said Singh.

Later in the evening, however, sources said Mohan changed his story again - this time telling ATS officials that he set aside quantities of unaccounted consignments tracked by BSF on the border and handed over to NCB.

Sources said NCB officials from Chandigarh have told the ATS that this was "plausible" and are scrutinizing two-year records of heroin received by NCB from BSF. Additional Commissioner of Police (ATS) Sukhvinder Singh is currently camping in Chandigarh.

Sources said Mohan brought two consignments of heroin to the city by train in October 2008 aware that he would soon be out of NCB - having himself sought a lateral deputation to the ED in Kochi.

"We have also learnt that Mohan had bought a Honda Civic on January 1 this year. We are investigating whether any other police or NCB officials are involved in the racket," said Singh. Since the drug seized is Afghan heroin that requires extensive "networking," ATS sources believe this is not necessarily the first time that Mohan might have pushed the drug.

Meanwhile, the ATS is questioning Oberoi's son Gaurav since the flat from which 25 kg of heroin was seized on Monday was leased to him. "If he is found to be an accomplice, he will be arrested. If not, he will be made a witness in the case. He works for an NGO and helps in Vicky Oberoi's prawn culture business," said Singh.

The ATS has also sent Mohan's laptop to the Kalina Forensic Sciences Laboratory for analysis along with his mobile phone. CDs of porn films were also recovered.

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