Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 21
From drug trafficking to gang wars, extortion and money laundering, Punjabi smugglers figure among top three notorious gangs in Canada behind the biker gangs and Vietnamese groups.
The Punjabi gangs have hogged international limelight these days with the Canada police claiming on Monday that they have broken a major drug cartel run mainly by Punjabis. Out of 33 persons charged for the possession of drugs and firearms besides huge currency and a gold-plated car, nearly 25 were of Punjabi origin.
- The CM on Wedesday approved a reward policy for people who provide information and inputs leading to recovery of drugs under the NDPS Act
- He termed it an important step towards motivating people to play a proactive role in helping government in cracking down on drug smugglers & traffickers
Though this is the biggest operation concerning the Punjabi community, reports reveal a number of smugglers were arrested earlier also, though never in such large numbers. Notably, Punjabi gangs are formed on clan basis. Gangs of Johals, Dhak-Duhre, Sanghera, Malhi-Buttar, and the Kangs feature regularly in drug seizures, gang wars and other criminal activities. One report from Canada said about 21 per cent of gangsters died in gang-wars or police operations since 2006 were of Punjabi region.
Their activities are of high concern back home in Punjab as some of the gangs have been linked to either arrested or wanted smugglers. The main being the gangs of Devinder Dev, Kamaljit Chauhan and Amarinder Singh Chhina.
The Punjab Police and NCB officials said Dev even had links with the Jagdish Bhola gang. These persons had used Punjab as the base to transport drugs to Canada, the USA and Australia through the Golden Crescent of drugs network featuring Pakistan and Afghanistan. In December 2017, a couple identified as Gurminder Singh Toor and his wife Kirandeep Kaur was caught with little short of 100 kg of heroin they were smuggling into Canada. In September 2018, another Punjabi Inderjit Bhinder was caught with 41 kg of heroin on the US-Canada border.
“Punjabi smugglers in Canada and Punjab have a robust network. They indulge in to and fro of drugs. While Canadian gangs are interested in cheap ‘import’ of heroin from Afghanistan via Pakistan and Punjab, they ‘export’ refined drugs besides cocaine and ICE to Punjab,” said a police official.
He said the Punjab Police was hoping to get the details of local links of the smugglers arrested in Canada so that their network in Punjab could be checked.
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