The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has frozen more than Rs 1.34 crore cash seized from the premises of Punjab-based Amritpal Singh who is accused of drug smuggling.
“Singh, a resident of Tarn Taran in Punjab, has been charge-sheeted in a case registered in April last year following the seizure of 102.784 kg heroin, worth Rs 700 crore, by the customs department,” an NIA spokesperson said.
According to the NIA, the heroin consignment purportedly from Afghanistan entered India through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari, Amritsar on April 22 last year.
The contraband was ingeniously concealed in a shipment of licorice roots (mulethi).
The spokesperson said the probe revealed that the cash amounting to Rs 1,34,12,000 seized from the premises of Singh was “proceeds of drugs”.
“Singh orchestrated the transfer of funds from 2019 to 2021, depositing them directly into bank accounts of accused individuals Shahid Ahmed alias Qazi Abdul Wadood and Razi Haider Zaidi. Additionally, funds were surreptitiously channelled through hawala transactions,” the spokesperson said.
An official said the cash seized from the premises of Singh has been frozen under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The case, initially registered by the customs department was later taken over by the NIA, which revealed that the heroin consignment was being smuggled into India through the land border upon directions from Dubai-based absconding accused Shahid Ahmed, the spokesperson said.
The official said the intricate smuggling web involves Nazir Ahmed Qani, a resident of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan who allegedly dispatched the illicit heroin consignment.
“The contraband was to be delivered to Delhi-based accused Zaidi. It was meant for distribution across various parts of the country… On December 16 last year, a charge sheet in the case was filed against four accused – Shahid Ahmed, Nazir Ahmed Qani, Razi Haider Zaidi and Vipin Mittal,” the spokesperson said.