M A I N   N E W S

Drug racket: NCB on lookout for kingpin from Punjab
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung/TNS

The Australia Angle

  • The kingpin received ephedrine and contacted one Satish Bansal, a rice dealer from Kurukshetra
  • After getting rice bags from Bansal, he would go to an apartment in Dwarka (Delhi), where the ephedrine was mixed with the rice
  • The bags were returned to Bansal, who would then send the consignment to his contact in Australia, KS Brar
  • The consignment, which would land at Melbourne, was taken by road to Sydney, where some Vietnamese nationals would separate the rice from the ephedrine, which was in a crystalline form

New Delhi, October 18
After unearthing a major overseas racket of a chemical called ephedrine being smuggled out of India in rice bags to produce party drugs, India’s Narcotics Control Bureau is looking for the kingpin who is from Punjab.

The man who is in his late thirties is allegedly in touch with some Vietnamese nationals based in Australia, sources said. The Vietnamese nationals would allegedly produce party drugs from the ephedrine that was supplied by this man. His identity is presently not being disclosed, because it could hamper the investigations of the drug enforcement agency.

Sources explained that the ephedrine is a precursor chemical which is produced in large quantities in India for the production of anti-cold and anti-allergy medicines. But the precursor can also be used to illicitly produce amphetamine type stimulants (ATS), which are hallucinogenic drugs such as crystal meth and methamphetamine, also known as Meth and Speed.

In the present case, 274 kg of raw ephedrine was smuggled into Australia in 234 bags of rice that had been sent from India. Once it reached Australia, the ephedrine was then converted into methamphetamine.

Sources explained that the kingpin of the racket would procure the ephedrine. He would contact a man named as Satish Bansal, who belongs to Kurukshetra in Haryana. Bansal runs a company called ‘Prince Overseas’.

“He would receive bags of rice from Bansal, then go to an apartment in Dwarka (Delhi), where he would mix the ephedrine with the rice. He would return the bags to Bansal, who would contact one, KS Brar. Bansal would then send the consignment of rice and ephedrine to Brar in Australia. After it landed at Melbourne, it would be taken by road to Sydney, where some Vietnamese nationals would separate the rice from the ephedrine, which were in a crystalline form. They would then convert it into methamphetamine,” explained the sources.

Bansal has been in the trade of exporting Basmati rice to Australia, under the brand name ‘Chef Choice Super Rice’. According to the sources, “he has confessed to being involved in supplying precursor chemicals with his accomplices in Thailand and Australia since the past two years.”

The NCB had been keeping a close watch on Bansal since the past two months. Brar and two Vietnamese nationals were caught in Australia, while the NCB arrested Bansal from his residence in Kurukshetra.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |