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Drug lord Kandola acted as ‘frontman’ for bigwigs
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Investigations carried out by the Enforcement Directorate have revealed that drug kingpin Ranjit Singh, alias Raja Kandola, was just a frontman for “well-connected bigwigs in politics, administration and even police” engaged in shady drug and property deals.

The NRI drug kingpin was arrested in August 2012 in connection with a drug smuggling case worth at least Rs 200 crore.

A senior functionary of the Enforcement Directorate (northern region) said “big” names were using Kandola to manage their shady property deals and black money to run the drug trade. This comes after at least 21 raids were carried out in different parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh yesterday. Kandola was associated with the smuggling and circulation of drug called “Ice”. The Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur police had earlier registered cases under the NDPS Act and were currently under investigation.

The investigation agency diary contains the names of a number of NRIs, foreign nationals and some foreign destinations serving as a base for the supply of drugs here.

An officer based in a district headquarters said: “We are following certain vital leads from the raids in different parts of the region. More raids may follow shortly, before we present the cases to the court for prosecution or ask the Ministry of External Affairs to intervene and get us to the connections in drug mafia based abroad.”

Probe into foreign hand in the drug business was necessitated after a Russian was arrested while heading an “Ice” manufacturing unit near Samrala last year. In fact, the directorate is studying links with a base at a port town in Europe where too the drug was being produced.

Investigations into the case began after the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police (Tughlaqabad) registered a case in 2007 when a list of 145 persons sent abroad on fake visas was discovered.

Each person was charged Rs 7 lakh and the money was linked to property investment trade in Delhi and nearby areas.

At least three hotels in Delhi and one in Uttaranchal were discovered to be part of the money laundering business. Money from the property trade was subsequently traced to different drug cartels producing drugs, officers said.





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