Chandigarh/Amritsar, May 24
The arrest of drug smuggler Lakhwinder Singh Lakha, who used to send drones to Pakistan to fetch drugs, has renewed worries among security agencies about ‘reverse drone sorties’.
Under the modus operandi, smugglers purchase drones from New Delhi or other places and send these to Pakistan to pick drugs.
In the usual practice, smugglers in Pakistan send drones to drop drugs or weapons in border areas of Punjab. The ‘reverse drone sorties’ reflect the boldness of the smugglers in carrying out their activities.
Lakha, who arrested in Amritsar on Tuesday, claimed that he had used the drone only for the first time. However, the police suspected he was lying as he had purchased the drone four months ago from Delhi for Rs 9.5 lakh. Lakha claimed the drone wasn’t working properly till now due to a technical snag.
In January 2020, the Punjab Police had busted a terror module which carried out multiple sorties of drones to bring drugs and weapons. After that, no case of the ‘reverse drone sorties’ had been reported till now.
The Special Task Force (STF) against drugs had arrested Lakha (26), who claimed he had been involved in drug smuggling for four years.
Son of a retired sub-inspector and residing in border village of Chak Mishri Khan falling under Lopoke area in Attari sub-division, it was lure of easy money that enticed him to cross-border smuggling. According to the police, Lakha had links with cross-border smugglers, including Moosa Khan of Pakistan. He used to get the contraband smuggled at Rs 8- Rs 10 lakh per kg from Pakistan side. He used to sell it to retail peddlers at double or triple the profit.
He was produced in the Ajnala court on Wednesday and remanded to three-day police custody for further investigation.
The STF had recovered 1.6 kg of heroin, a hexacopter, a .32 bore pistol and a .315 bore rifle besides a Samsung tab from this possession. He was also part of a narco-terror module that supplied the explosives used in the Ludhiana court complex blast in December 2021.
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