Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 9
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the premises of Punjab MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and a few others on Tuesday in connection with a money-laundering case linked to narcotics trafficking and the creation of an alleged fake passport, officials said.
The team arrived from Delhi.
ED sleuths also carried out searches at his Sector 5 residence in Chandigarh, and nine places in Punjab and two in Delhi—including the house of his son-in-law, Inderveer Singh Johal.
The agency alleged that Khaira (56), the MLA from Bholath in Kapurthala district, is an “associate” of the drugs racket convicts and fake passport racketeers.
Wearing a T-shirt and track pants, Khaira came out of his residence for a few seconds and told the reporters that he had “not done anything wrong”, adding that the ED sleuths arrived at his house around 7:30 am.
The case pertains to the probe in the 2015 Fazilka (Punjab) drugs-smuggling case, in which 1,800 grams of heroin, 24 gold biscuits, two weapons, 26 live cartridges and two Pakistani SIM cards were seized from a gang of international drug smugglers by security agencies.
The central agency recently filed a PMLA case in connection with the case, which was first lodged by the Punjab Police.
“The drugs were smuggled through the India-Pakistan border and one of the kingpins of the syndicate is in the UK.
“Sukhpal Singh Khaira was actively aiding and supporting the gang of international smugglers and enjoying the proceeds of crime,” the ED has alleged.
Some of the convicts in the Fazilka drugs case, currently lodged in jail, were also searched and questioned, the agency said.
They were identified as Gurdev Singh, Manjit Singh, Harbans Singh and Subhash Chander, all residents of Fazilka district.
Three people allegedly involved in the fake passport racket—Harminder Kaur (Jalandhar resident), Rajwinder Kaur (Kapurthala) and Bikker Singh (Kapurthala)—were also searched.
“Incriminating documents and digital devices have been seized,” an ED officer said.
Khaira had floated a political party in 2019, Punjab Ekta Party. The new outfit had also established its units abroad.
Besides, Khaira has been vociferously taking up the issue of the suspicious death of farmer Navreet Singh, who died on January 26 during the farmers' protest. — With Agencies
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