NIA Arrests 2 More Operatives In Attari Drug Seizure Case, Unveils Larger Conspiracy

NIA Arrests 2 More Operatives In Attari Drug Seizure Case, Unveils Larger Conspiracy

With this, a total of five accused have so far been arrested in the case.

Somendra SharmaUpdated: Friday, March 22, 2024, 08:20 PM IST
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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested two more key operatives in the Attari drug seizure case involving the recovery and seizure of a total of over 102 kg heroin, smuggled into the country concealed in a consignment of licorice roots (mulethi) in April 2022.

The two accused have been identified as Deepak Khurana alias Deepu of Ferozepur (Punjab) and Avtar Singh alias Sunny of Jamia Nagar, South Delhi. With this, a total of five accused have so far been arrested in the case.

Financial investigations and the examination of  the associates of the accused have revealed that Deepak Khurana was not only a drug dealer and drug quality tester but also a handler of ‘proceeds of drugs’.  And Avtar was involved in distribution of drugs, handling of cash and laundering the drug proceeds through banking and hawala channels.   

Both the accused have been identified as long-term associates of the prime accused, Razi Haider Zaidi and Shahid Ahmed alias Qazi Abdul Wadood. NIA investigations show that Deepak and Avtar are key operatives in the larger conspiracy hatched by the international drug cartel for supply of drugs to various distributors in India and channelling of the proceeds of the drugs to main foreign-based accused persons.

The drug seizures in the instant case were made  in two instalments, on 24 and 26 April 2022, by the Indian Customs department when the narcotics arrived in the country from Afghanistan via ICP Attari, Amritsar. The total value of the narcotics was approx.. Rs 700 crores. 

As per NIA investigations, the consignment was sent into India by absconding accused Nazir Ahmed Qani, a resident of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan, on the directions of Dubai-based absconding accused Shahid Ahmed alias Qazi Abdul Wadood was meant to be delivered to Razi Haider Zaidi in India, for further distribution in various parts of the country.  

NIA had, on 16 December 2022, filed a Chargesheet against Shahid Ahmed and Nazir Ahmed Qani, along with two others, identified as Razi Haider Zaidi and Vipin Mittal. Razi and Vipin were arrested earlier in the case.  Another, Amritpal Singh, was arrested on 15 December 2023 while attempting to flee the country. He was arrested after proceeds of narcotics amounting to Rs 1.34 Crores were recovered from him and were frozen under relevant legal provisions.

Further investigations into the case continue.

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