The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Mumbai have busted a gang that was instrumental in smuggling Tramadol to Nigeria and in return get Cocaine smuggled in India. Five members of the gang have been arrested so far. Interestingly, the agency has arrested a bank official and the person who had handed out his premises to the contraband smuggler on charges of conspiracy for not taking due diligence on their parts.
"We had received information that a Nigerian national identified as Paul Ikenna alias Bossman is staying in Kharghar was involved in trafficking of drugs from foreign sources into Mumbai for further distribution to other cities like Goa, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, etc. We nabbed him on September 9 and searched his residence and seized 2 kg of Cocaine and during investigation we learnt that Ikenna was first arrested in 1989 by the NCB and was in jail. Finally he got discharged from the said case. After coming out of jail, again in 2001 he got arrested in a case of heroin smuggling and got convicted in 2006. He was in jail till 2012," said deputy director general of NCB, SK Singh.
Accused continued to stay in India
"After coming out of jail, surprisingly he continued to stay in India, wherein he should have been deported. His involvement was also found in a case of Tramadol smuggling of Bengaluru being probed by the NCB this year. His modus-operandi is that he is involved in a barter trading of drugs. He sends Tramadol to his syndicate members in Nigeria who get Cocaine in return sourced from Brazil to be supplied for peddling in India. We have arrested two traffickers - Sakir and Sufiyan from Surat who used to receive the consignment from him," said Mr Singh.
"Landlord facilitated Ikenna by not insisting on proper verification"
He added, "We have also arrested the Mira Road based landlord of the place where Ikenna was staying at Kharghar on charges of conspiracy in this case. He had facilitated Ikenna by not insisting on proper verification done. While we were doing the financial investigation in this case, we found that Ikenna had been using a bank account which was the name of some other Nigerian woman, to launder the proceeds of drug trafficking. Further probe revealed that the bank was treating the original bank account holder woman as the Indian resident and not as a foreign national. She was treated intentionally as an Indian resident wherein there are clear guidelines for foreign nationals to open accounts which was not followed in this case. Her account was also being used by Ikenna to pay fees for his children's school. School administration should have also checked their visa and nationality of the parent while giving admission. Just on the basis of one Aadhar card the admission was given, which we later found was a forged one. All the stakeholders should play their part."
"We would recommend concerned agencies to plug negligence and loopholes. If we find that deliberately people were not complying to the rules for verification we would take action against them in drug related cases. Facilitating someone in drug trafficking, abetting and conspiring with the accused amounts to an offence," Mr Singh said.