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Gujarat ATS nabs key drug peddler

The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Gujarat police on Thursday nabbed one Shahid Kasam Sumra, a key drug peddler allegedly involved in smuggling 530 kg of heroin worth around ₹2,500 crore into the country via sea route from Pakistan on different occasions. He was arrested at the Delhi airport as soon as he landed at the airport from abroad.

The ATS in a statement claimed that Surma is wanted by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Punjab STF and is also reportedly involved in the “narco-terrorism” as he funded terror activities with the money acquired from the illegal drug smuggling.

As per the details shared by the ATS, four cases were lodged against him between 2018 and 2021 in Gujarat and Punjab, following the seizure of 530 kg of heroin during that period from different parts of the two States.

The NIA had taken over the probe into three of those cases, while one case is with the Gujarat ATS and he is wanted in all the four cases as one of the masterminds of drug smuggling racket in the country.

According to the statement issued by the ATS, during the probe in drug smuggling cases, the ATS stumbled upon his alleged role in the “narco-terrorism” as he allegedly provided money, acquired through the illegal drug trade, to those involved in terror activities in the country.

He was on the run and had been hiding in various Gulf and African countries ever since his name first surfaced when the ATS seized 5 kg of “Pakistan-origin” heroin from Salaya town of Gujarat’s Devbhoomi Dwarka district in August 2018.

A probe later revealed that Sumra and other accused had smuggled a total of 500 kg of heroin from Pakistan through sea route and unloaded the consignment on Gujarat’s Mandvi coast in August 2018. Later, Sumra and his aides sent the contraband to Punjab in trucks, the ATS said.

They sent 300 kg of drugs in three trips to Punjab at the behest of one Simranjit Singh Sandhu, who was recently held by the Interpol in Italy. After sometime, Sumra’s associates transported the remaining 200 kg of heroin to Sandhu’s contacts at Amritsar in Punjab.

Out of this consignment, the Punjab STF seized 188 kg and 5 kg of the contraband in separate operations, the ATS said, adding that the NIA is now conducting a probe into these cases, and Sumra was also wanted in this connection as he emerged as one of the key smugglers.

In April this year, the ATS and the Indian Coast Guard intercepted a boat near the Gujarat coast and apprehended eight Pakistani nationals with 30 kg of heroin worth around ₹150 crore. It later came to light that the accused were planning to smuggle the drug into Gujarat at the behest of Sumra, the ATS said.

It may be noted that Gujarat coast has emerged as a major sea route to smuggle drug into India. The Gujarat ATS along with Indian Coast Guard (ICG) have busted the racket intercepting boats carrying drug consignments for delivery in India.


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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 8:19:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/gujarat-ats-nabs-key-drug-peddler/article35617978.ece

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