Four drug smugglers held in Delhi Drugs worth Rs 50 Cr from Manipur seized


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For five months, a team of Delhi Police’s Special Cell were on a hunt for four men who were carrying drugs from violence-hit areas in Manipur and four other States to Delhi and selling them to clubs in south Delhi for over a year. Police said the accused used Kia Seltos and Mahindra Thar as their means to smuggle fine quality opium and heroin which is worth crores. They posed as senior officials from construction companies working on road construction projects in Imphal and managed to get huge quantities of drugs from local residents.
On June 25, their search ended at the biodiversity park in Tuglakabad where they found an SUV with 18 kgs of drugs worth Rs 50 crore. Police said they had to dismantle the Mahindra Thar SUV for hours and finally recovered the drugs from a cavity under the taillight.
The accused, Ramawtar Jat (42), Tejpal Beniwal (29), Ramniwas Lega (26) and Kishana Ram (47), all belong to Rajasthan’s Churu district and have allegedly been smuggling drugs from Rajasthan, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab since 2019.
“To expand their operations, they worked with residents in Manipur by posing as officials from road construction companies. Few of the associates would stay in Manipur for weeks to get access to fine quality opium which was smuggled from Myanmar by suppliers. The gang has been active for years and have active clients in Mumbai and Delhi where they approach people at clubs in posh area and sell them the drugs,” said an investigating officer.
DCP (Special Cell) Amit Kaushik said that in January this year, they received a specific tip that a drug cartel is being run by a group of Rajasthan men who supply drugs from violence hit Manipur.
“Despite the ongoing violence in Manipur, the accused would go there every month and get 10-20 kgs of drugs from locals who wanted to sell opium or heroin,” added the officer.
DCP Kaushik said the team conducted discreet searches and enquiries at their Churu office to identify the men. “After identification, we conducted several raids in Delhi-NCR, Punjab, Rajasthan and even Manipur but they were not caught…We also identified their Manipur-based associates who smuggled drugs from Myanmar,” added Kaushik.
On June 25, a team led by Inspector Rahul Kumar and Inspector Vineet Kumar Tewatia received another tip that the accused are coming to Delhi from Manipur.
“We were told they were delivering a huge consignment worth Rs 50 crore. A team was sent to Tughlakabad Fort and the biodiversity park where they were going to come. After some time, an SUV was spotted and the accused were arrested,” said another officer.
Police said the car was dismantled for the search and finally the police found secret cavities around the tail light and recovered over 7kgs of heroin and 11 kgs of opium.
During the investigation, police said the accused led them to their second SUV days later, and drugs were also recovered from secret cavities of the Kia Seltos.
Police said Jat is the kingpin of the gang who have been smuggling heroin and opium from over five States to Delhi and Mumbai.
“They frequently visited Manipur by posing as officials working in different companies involved in the road construction at Imphal, Manipur. To evade police, Jat worked with construction companies there and provided them machines. He had a signed contract with them. His associates work as drivers or assistants/helpers on the machinery to make the job look real. They would then collect drugs from the local residents,” said the DCP.
Police found Jat was previously arrested in a drugs smuggling case in Ajmer in 2019 and was released within a year. He then allegedly started his own gang. Police said Lega and Ram would stay in Manipur for weeks or months to show they work for construction companies and that they provide machinery for road work.
“Others would travel to Rajasthan, Punjab, MP and other States to procure drugs. They would use petrol tanks, tail lights and other parts to hide drugs,” said the second investigating officer.
Police on Saturday said all four accused have been produced before the Court and are in police remand.

    Hindustan Times