Drug racket: Ex-police officer arrested

Officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) unearthed another international drug racket and arrested a 50-year-old man from Kerala, a former police officer in Bahrain, who was allegedly trafficking hashish to the Gulf countries with bases in metro cities across India.

A preliminary probe revealed that he procured the drugs from Manali and took it to Kochi via Bengaluru before smuggling it to the Gulf by air cargo.

According to the officials, the kingpin was nabbed from a train heading to Bengaluru when he was returning from Manali. “The suspect had been running a drug syndicate that smuggled contraband mainly to Bahrain for a few years now operating with multiple mobile SIM cards. He knew the route and the rules very well as he had served as a police officer in the Bahrain police for nearly 20 years and had returned to Kerala a few years ago. With immense knowledge on the law enforcement in the Gulf nation, he clandestinely began the drug trade,” said an investigating officer.

With the NCB Kochi team getting wind of his activities, the sleuths, on September 12, intercepted a courier consignment meant to be shipped to Bahrain and unearthed 3.5 kg of hashish oil that was declared as ayurvedic medicine, following which a hunt was on for the kingpin. It was established that he procured the contraband from a dealer in Himachal Pradesh and brought it by train to Bengaluru and later carried it to Kochi before smuggling it to Bahrain.

With information that he was in Bengaluru, the NCB team led by Amit Ghawate, zonal director, tracked him to the train as he was returning from Manali after meeting his contacts. He was arrested and booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

His confession to investigators led the Kochi NCB team to nab his accomplice in Kochi, sources added. Further probe is underway into the drug smuggler’s Bengaluru links.

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