Kandahar-Kashmir drug racket busted in Delhi, over 54 kg heroin seized

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Bengaluru: Seized drugs worth Rs 4 Crore on display during a press conference at Police Commissioner office, in Bengaluru on Friday 5th March 2021 (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, May 13 – Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Thursday said that it has busted an international drug racket with its links to (Afghanistan’s) Kandahar and Kashmir with the arrest of five persons with over 54 kg of heroin valued at Rs 250 crore.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Pramod Singh Kushwah said that Altaf aka Mehrajuddin Darji, Abid Hussain Sultan, Hashmat Mohammadi, Tifal Nau Khez aka Tifley, and Abdullah Najibullah aka Nabi were arrested, and a narcotic reconstitution factory set up by the cartel in the area of Batla House has been unearthed.

Kushwah said that during an operation, the name of Altaf aka Mehrajuddin Darji had figured as being a senior conduit of a Kashmir-based narco-module who was frequently visiting Delhi-NCR under the cover of carpet trade.

“Persistent efforts to develop this intel bore fruit when on May 2, specific human intelligence was received that Altaf was somewhere in the area of Ashoka Road in Delhi seeking to deliver a consignment,” he said.

The official said that a trap was laid and Altaf, 45, a resident of Srinagar, arrested from south Delhi’s Zakir Nagar area and 4.5 kg contraband recovered from his possession. A case was registered against him under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

“Based upon disclosures made by Altaf, a raid was conducted and second accused, namely Abid Hussain Sultan, 40, arrested and a total of 12 kg of contraband was recovered from his home situated in Vinoba Puri,” he said. Sultan is also a permanent resident of Srinagar.

Kushwah said that with the arrestes, the ambit of investigation was widened.

He said that on sustained confrontations of both the arrested accused with evidence led to the disclosure that someone named ‘Haji’, was sending the contraband which was being further refined and reconstituted using chemicals being supplied by Lakha of Amritsar.

“The first concrete involvement of Afghani presence in this module surfaced in the name of Hashmat Mohammadi, an Afghan national residing in Zakir Nagar,” he said, adding that after making meticulous ground work, Mohammadi, 31, a permanent resident of Kabul, was arrested while he was driving a Scooty which belonged to Sultan.

On checking the glove-box of the two-wheeler, another five kg of contraband was recovered and Mohammadi arrested. On interrogation, he revealed that the contraband was being sourced from Kasim and Haji, both based in Afghanistan.

Mohammadi also disclosed that a reconstitution factory, similar to the one busted in 2019 by the Special Cell, was running in Zakir Nagar.

A raid was thus conducted at a house situated in Okhla’s Batla House area and a clandestine facility, being run under a residential cover, was unearthed, the DCP said, adding that another 29.5 kg contraband along with articles used for reconstitution i.e. large aluminum containers, buckets, gunny bags soaked in chemicals, distillers etc were recovered.

He said that the residential premises being used belonged to Tifal Nau Khez, who was in jail for being the mastermind behind one of the biggest haul of heroin in 2019.

He was formally arrested in the present case also and subjected to interrogation.

“Khez revealed that of late, several new poppy to heroin processing modules have become highly active in Afghanistan and seasoned chemical experts under the garb of medical and other visa categories are being sent to India to execute complex heroin reconstitution operations at scattered locations within Delhi NCR,” the DCP said.

He said that Khez also revealed that the margins of profit being huge, he used his earlier and newer contacts made while in jail to resume his earlier illicit trade.

“Following the revelations, the Special Cell carried another raid in the area of Wazirabad and the fifth accused of this case, namely Najibullah, 40, residing in Ballimaran in Delhi was arrested,” he said, adding another 3.2 kg of contraband was recovered from Najibullah, a permanent resident of Afghanistan’s Akakhel.

With this arrest, the total recovery of contraband, fine quality heroin, presently stands at 54.2 kg, Kushwah added.

From the continuing interrogation of the arrested accused and examination of their digital footprints, several African and European, especially Italian, nodes of this narco-peddling network have surfaced, he said.

“Efforts are being made to establish the true identities of Afghan-based Kasim and Haji, who appear to be the major source of heroin which is then peddled through gunny sacks with absorbed heroin for further extraction and reconstitution in India,” he said.

The DCP also said that the involvement of Kashmir Valley-based operatives in the network and sourcing of industry-grade chemicals used for reconstitution from yet unidentified Punjab-based operatives gives this module a significant importance that adds to their conventional understanding of the Golden Crescent, known as world’s leading poppy/opium/heroin production areas.

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