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Pharma opioid racket: Three more nabbed from Haridwar

Had sold 1.18 crore pills of alprazolam in illegal manner in 3 months

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Tribune News Service

PK Jaiswar

Amritsar, May 22

The continuation of investigations into interstate opioid manufacturing and supply racket being operated from a firm in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, the Special Task Force (STF) along with the anti-drug wing of Punjab Police has arrested three Haridwar residents allegedly involved in the illegal sale of intoxicants being misused by drug abusers.

The police said they had sold 1,18,8000 tablets of alprazolam in just three months from October to December 2023.

Those arrested were identified as Vishu Kumar, alias Vishal Kumar, Abhishek Chauhan and Nikhil Garg, all residents of Rawali Mehdood, Janpat (Haridwar). With their arrest, the STF has nabbed 10 persons involved in the racket so far, said Vavinder Mahajan, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who is heading the probe.

The DSP said the three suspects had created a false firm in the name of Sri Sham Medical in Saharanpur area in Uttar Pradesh. He said during a probe, it was found that there was no medical store by that name at the given address. Their interrogation revealed that they used to receive the consignments on the way before reaching the given address and later used to supply these at further destinations. The drugs were believed to be diverted to Punjab for drug abusers.

“Some more names have cropped up and more heads are likely to roll during the further course of investigations,” said Mahajan adding that the trio was being brought to Amritsar. They would be produced in a local court tomorrow seeking police remand for further probe.

Till now, the STF has arrested 10 persons in the case and seized about 2.70 crore of intoxicating tablets/capsules and 765 kg of narcotic powder and Rs 2.37 lakh drug money.

The STF has been investigating the interstate racket involved in illegal manufacturing of psychotropic substances and supply for the past three months. The operation spanned five states — Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The STF arrested two drug peddlers Sukhwinder Singh of Kot Muhammad Khan village in Tarn Taran and Jaspreet Singh, alias Jass, of Govind Nagar in Amritsar, who were arrested after the recovery of 4.24 lakh intoxicating tablets/capsules and Rs 1 lakh drug money from Beas in February this year.

Following the trail, the STF team arrested the kingpin of the racket, identified as Alex Paliwal, from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh after seizing 9.04 lakh intoxicants and Rs 1.37 lakh drug money from his possession.

The probe was extended to Himachal Pradesh after Paliwal’s questioning. The firm’s records traced the supply chain to Aster Pharma in Maharashtra where further investigative measures led to the exposing of Biogenetic Drug Private Limited’s sister concern (pharma manufacturing company) Smilex Pharmachem Drug Industries based in Baddi.

A subsequent operation led to seizure of 47.32 lakh intoxicating capsules and 725.5 kg of intoxicant Tramadol powder sufficient to manufacture 1.5 crore capsules. The records revealed that Smilex Pharmachem Drug Industries purchased 6,500 kg of intoxicant tramadol powder within a year.

He said concurrent investigations into transportation and distribution led to the arrest of individuals, including Intezar Salmani, Prince Salmani, Baljinder Singh, and Suba Singh unravelling the intricate web of interstate drug trafficking.

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#Baddi #Punjab Police

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