International drug cartel case takes a new turn : The Tribune India

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International drug cartel case takes a new turn

‘Kingpin’ Mani goes live on FB, denies involvement; raids on to nab Harman

International drug cartel case takes a new turn

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, April 1

In a dramatic twist to the international drug cartel case, Manish, alias Mani Thakur, hailing from Jalandhar and presently residing in the UK, took to social media to vehemently deny his involvement in the case. He was allegedly termed as the kingpin of the cartel, which was busted by the city police last month.

During a live conversation on his Facebook account, Mani refuted all accusations levelled against him by the police. He asserted that he had spent most of his life in Jalandhar and had only shifted to the UK a year ago.

In a 25-minute video, Mani alleged that he was being falsely implicated by the police to exonerate another individual, Harman, from the charges. He alleged that the police had coerced Harman into arranging 20 kg of opium, purportedly as evidence, in exchange for leniency.

Mani further accused a PA of MLA of aiding Harman in striking a deal with the police to evade prosecution.

Presenting himself as a victim of political vendetta or personal animosity, Mani claimed to uncover the truth behind his alleged framing.

He asserted possessing substantial evidence, including video and call recordings, to substantiate his claims and vowed to present them in the court through his legal representation in Jalandhar.

He also raised allegations of torture inflicted upon his female friend, Amarjit Kaur, in the police custody. He claimed that Kaur had endured brutal treatment, including physical assault, by a male police officer wielding a baton. He claimed to have video evidence of the alleged treatment and revealed the dire condition in which Kaur was left. She was unable to walk when she was undergoing medical examination at the Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, CIA in charge Surinder Kumar refuted all claims, asserting that the operation was intelligence-driven with ample evidence implicating Mani. He also dismissed allegations of torture against the woman suspect, stating that all protocols were followed during her arrest and interrogation.

Kumar confirmed Harman as one of the suspects in the case. They were also carrying out raids to nab him.

The case

On March 3, the Police Commissionerate claimed to have busted an international drug trafficking syndicate involved in the illicit trade of narcotics across four countries using courier services. The operation led to the arrest of three persons - Aman, Sunny and Shejal - and the seizure of 5 kg of opium.

On March 10, the police further exposed the extensive supply chain involved in the operation, and arrested nine more smugglers with 22 kg of opium. Those arrested were identified as Abhi Ram, alias Alex from Jharkhand, Money, Pawan, Sikandar, Amarjit Kaur and Sunny from Jalandhar, Balihar from Hoshiarpur, Amit Shukla from Phagwara, and Parmod from Delhi.

On March 24, the police arrested another suspect, Gagandeep Singh, in the case and recovered 2 kg of opium from him. So far, the total recovery of opium in this operation is 29 kg and 13 persons have been arrested. Six customs officials have been implicated in the case.

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