The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has busted an international drug cartel having links in and around Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Dubai. Among those allegedly involved are Indian, Mexican, Canadian and British nationals.
The agency has arrested nine persons, including three alleged Mexican methamphetamine or ‘meth’ chemists. Based on a tip-off, the agency’s Delhi zonal unit seized about 2.95 kg of methamphetamine on January 17.
“During further course of investigation, two consignors of the parcel were apprehended from Jaipur. The arrested persons disclosed that as per the direction of their handler in a foreign country, they collected Meth from a Delhi-based trafficker on a regular basis and used to send the parcels to Australia as per the details provided by their handler…they used forged document for booking the parcels in order to hide their identity,” the agency said on Monday.
Based on the purported disclosures, the NCB arrested the supplier from Rohini in Delhi and, during the search of his house, seized 12.16 kg of methamphetamine.
Subsequently, the agency tracked down the source of the drugs to Ludhiana and some of the international border districts in Punjab. “…the seized contraband was being prepared at a clandestine lab situated at Ludhiana and also fully manufactured drugs were being sent through domestic mules from various places in Punjab like Amritsar, Fagwada, and Mohali,” said an official.
The NCB then conducted raids in Ludhiana, Mohali and Jalandhar, during which two Indian nationals were arrested on January 29, and 4 kg of pseudoephedrine seized. The follow-up action led to the unearthing of the meth lab in Ludhiana. The agency also seized precursors, including 5 kg of pseudoephedrine.
During the search, three Mexican chemists were also arrested. They had come to India in November 2023 at the instance of their handler, who operated from Mexico and the U.K.
“The arrested Indian nationals were providing all kinds of assistance and raw materials to these three Mexican nationals…the chemical and equipment recovered from the said premises includes acetone (2200 ltr.), caustic soda (450 kg), gas masks, gas stoves, 49 kg of Iodine, flask, small iron drums with chemicals, distilled water (24 ltr.), plastic syringe, gauge meter etc.,” the NCB said.
The agency arrested another accused from Ferozpur in Punjab. “An advocate from Mohali is one of the prime suspects in this case and is absconding,” the agency said.