Punjab police arrested Devinder Singh, an international drug smuggler and close aide of dismissed DSP Jagdish Singh Bhola on Tuesday in connection with the drugs haul case in which the name of Olympic medallist and renowned pugilist Vijender Singh had cropped up.
They recovered 8.5 kg ephedrine, a chemical used for preparing heroin, worth Rs. 8.50 crore from him.
During the checking on Chandigarh road, police intercepted Devinder Singh’s white MUV, Fatehgarh Sahib SSP H S Mann told reporters on Tuesday. Following a search, they recovered the ephedrine which was concealed in a plastic bag, he said.
Two driving licenses were also recovered from Devinder of which one was found to be fake. The genuine license was issued by District Transport Office, Bathinda, and his date of birth was mentioned as August 3, 1986, the SSP added.
Devinder is a resident of Thermal Colony, Lehra Mohabat, Bathinda.
A case under various sections of the IPC and under the provisions of the NDPS Act was registered against the accused at Fatehgarh Sahib police station today.
The SSP said Devinder Singh, during interrogation, confessed that he had close relations with NRI Anoop Singh Kahlon, Jagdish Singh Bhola and Sarabjit Singh and he was involved in drug trafficking and hawala with them.
According to the SSP, the MUV recovered from Devinder Singh belongs to Sarabjit Singh on whose instance he was on his way to deliver the consignment of ephedrine.
Further investigations were under progress, the official said.
Devinder Singh is the 17th accused to be arrested following recovery of 26 kg of heroin worth over Rs 100 crore from the house of a Canada-based NRI Anoop Singh Kahlon at Zirakpur in Mohali on March 3.
The others arrested include Bhindranwale Tigers Force (BTF) terrorist Kulbir Singh Assandh, another NRI Kulwant Singh, Kahlon’s driver Kulwinder Singh alias Rockey, Kuldip Singh (father of Rockey) and a retired DSP of UP Police, Kirpal Singh (arrested from Meerut) besides Vijender’s sparring partner boxer Ram Singh.
The case has also been in the limelight over the alleged links of Olympic medallist boxer Vijender Singh with Kahlon.
Punjab Police had on March 31 said that Virender had consumed heroin 12 times after procuring it from alleged drug smugglers, including Kahlon. They, however, said that the boxer was not involved in the smuggling of narcotics.
Vijender has denied any involvement in the drugs racket.