The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has frozen more than ₹1.34 crore cash seized from the premises of Punjab-based narcotics smuggler Amritpal Singh, an official said on Thursday.
Singh, a resident of Tarn Taran in Punjab, has been chargesheeted in a case registered in April last year following the seizure of 102.784 kg heroin, worth ₹700 crore, by the customs department, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.
The official said the heroin consignment 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).
“Investigations uncovered that the cash amounting to ₹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 the 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.
The official said the cash seized from the premises of Singh has been frozen under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Initially, the case was registered by the customs department. The NIA later took over the investigations, which revealed that the heroin consignment was being smuggled into India through the land border on the directives of 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 dispatched the illicit heroin consignment.
The contraband was to be delivered to Delhi-based accused Razi Haider Zaidi.
The heroin was meant for distribution across various parts of the country, aimed at reaping substantial monetary gains, the official said.
On December 16 last year, a charge sheet in the case has been filed against four accused – Shahid Ahmed, Nazir Ahmed Qani, Razi Haider Zaidi and Vipin Mittal.