Tuesday, May 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Major drug haul in Kolkata
CBI ex-official denies involvement

Kolkata, May 19
In a major haul, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has seized 24 kg of ephidrine hydrochloride, a controlled psychotropic substance used for making heroin, from five foreigners residing as tenants in a house owned by former CBI Additional Director (East) U N Biswas here.

The seizure was made from the ground floor flat of the house located at the Salt Lake area on Saturday on a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Agency, NCB Assistant Director (East) N C Patra told newspersons today.

Five foreigners — three Myanmarese and two Chinese — who were tenants of the flat, were arrested by NCB sleuths and produced before the Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate’s court at Barasat.

During interrogation by the NCB officials, Biswas, who was in the limelight in connection with the investigation of the multi-crore fodder scam case against former Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, had pleaded ignorance about the activities of his tenants.

Mr Patra said the five arrested were identified as Baiktha Kima, Laltan Puta and Lalsanga (all Myanmarese), besides Chen Fulun and Wen Delong (Chinese).

The arrested possessed fake licence, fake passports and a huge quantity of foreign currency and a mobile phone, the NCB Assistant Director said.

The seized material was valued at Rs 5 crore in the international market.

To a question, Mr Patra said ephidrine hydrochloride, a chemical, was required for producing ATS (amphetamine type stimulant), a drug stimulant like heroin, which was being stored by the five persons in the ground floor of Biswas’ house.

“These five persons were gathering materials and raw materials for producing ATS. Initial stocking was being made at the ground floor of the house, though it is yet to be ascertained where they set up the laboratory required for the purpose,” he said. The NCB, he said, was in touch with the Union Home Ministry.

Mr Patra said this was the third major haul of ephidrine hydrochlorine at the international level in this year. Five kg of the substance was seized in the USA in January last, followed by a similar seizure in China. Now this controlled psychotropic substance had been found here, he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Biswas today denied having seen any of the five foreigners arrested from his ground-floor apartment in Salt Lake with 24 kg of ephidrine hydrochloride, and said he did not rule out a conspiracy in the matter. PTI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |