Ahmedabad, December 21
Thanks to satellite images provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has been able to establish how an alleged drug trafficker built a palatial bungalow in a Gujarat village by using his ill-gotten wealth.
Isa Rao, who is absconding, is one of the main accused in the seizure of heroin worth Rs 600 crore by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in Morbi district of the state in November 2021. The probe was later handed over to the NCB.
Satellite images provided by ISRO’s Advanced Data Processing Research Institute (ADRIN) showed how he developed his property at Jodia village in Devbhumi-Dwarka district over three years and constructed a bungalow worth more than Rs 50 lakh, said a senior NCB official on Wednesday.
The images showed the stages of construction from 2019, he said.
"Investigation revealed that the property was developed using the money Rao made from the drug trade. As his family was not cooperating with the investigation, we used satellite images to establish that this property was developed over three years. The house has been now seized for being ‘proceeds of crime’," said the official.
Rao is currently believed to be in Karachi, Pakistan.
In November 2021, the Gujarat ATS seized 120 kg of heroin, valued at Rs 600 crore in global markets, from an under-construction house at Zinzuda village in Morbi district and arrested three persons including Isa Rao's brother Mukhtar Hussein.
The drugs had been sent by Rao's Pakistani associates by sea route and initially hidden in the coastal area near Salaya in Devbhumi Dwarka district before being moved to Zinzuda, the ATS said.
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