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Tuesday,22-June-2021

Crime

NCB arrests 4, seizes several drugs for sale through darknet

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Narcotics-Control-Bureau

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Monday said that it has arrested four people and seized 30.5 lakh doses of psychotropic drugs, 70,000 codeine based cough syrups (CBCS) and 14.895 kg amphetamine drug.

The drug law enforcement agency Deputy Director (Operations) KPS Malhotra said, “The NCB launched a special drive against psychotropic drugs trafficking and the operation which is currently underway has led to a seizure of 30.5 lakhs of psychotropic drugs, 70,000 codeine based cough syrups (CBCS) and 14.895 kg amphetamine drug and arrest of four persons.”

Malhotra said that raids were conducted in various parts of Delhi, NCR, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

He said that this module has a modus operandi of getting the orders through the darknet market host and the same are delivered through the dedicated shippers to create anonymity between the receiver of the order and logistic persons.

“Working on the specific input that a trafficking network is involved in exportation of psychotropic drugs from India to various parts of world, a few consignments were seized and the same were backtracked,” he said.

The NCB officer said during investigation, it was discovered that the shippers are primarily based in Delhi NCR and are using fake identities.

“Based on the backtrack investigation, one of the shippers K. Aggarwal, a resident of Agra, was identified and was arrested. He disclosed that he gets his drugs from one of the suppliers in Agra. Based on his interrogation and technical evidence, A. Goyal was arrested from Agra. The arrest of Goyal led to a startling fact that they are getting the psychotropic drugs from a Haridwar based pharmaceutical company, which is involved in legal production and in that garb, is diverting these psychotropic drugs to these traffickers,” he said.

Malhotra added that a raid was conducted at Haridwar at the premises of the pharmaceutical company and its distribution centre based in Agra. A total of 34 seizures were affected from this syndicate leading to a cumulative figure of 30.5 lakh of psychotropic drugs, 70,000 codeine based cough syrups and 14.895 kg amphetamine, he said.

Malhotra said that besides Aggarwal and Goyal, the NCB also arrested Som Dutt, a resident of Narela in Delhi and Manish a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia.

The NCB officer said that Aggarwal is a graduate and is engaged in the illicit trade for the last two-three years, while Goyal is a school dropout and used to run a medicine shop while Dutt is pursuing his B.A through distance learning and started providing logistics to the syndicate about two years back.

Citing the role of Manish, the officer said he has completed his graduation and used to run a grocery shop. To earn quick money, he started trafficking psychotropic drugs, the officer said.

He also said that earlier in an operation, the NCB seized a significant number of psychotropic drugs i.e. 56 lakh psychotropic medicines from Ghaziabad.

“In this regard, four accused persons were arrested. The mastermind H. Singh had taken the distribution license in the name of M. Yadav, who was paid a monthly remuneration,” Malhotra said.

The operations were looked after by H. Singh. They were involved in diversion of the psychotropic drugs from the legal distribution channel towards the illicit channel. The destinations of the psychotropic drugs were Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Malhotra said that the syndicate is inter-connected to various other syndicates also.

He said that last year in the darknet vendor case, one Mausam aka Kashmir was arrested, who revealed about his other associates.

“The gang members were using darknet to maintain their anonymity. Dutt who has been arrested was earlier associated with Mausam.”

Malhotra said that Dutt is one of the prominent shippers of the syndicates and used the Indian Postal Services for sending the consignments to the USA and the UK, using fraudulently obtained IDs.

“Dutt used to procure psychotropic medicines from one Manish, whose consignments were earlier seized,” he added.

Malhotra said that a psychotropic drug like Tramadol comes under the category of synthetic opioids and is used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain.

Crime

Unearth fake vaccination racket, Bombay HC to Maharashtra government

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Taking serious cognizance of the Covid vaccination frauds that recently shocked Mumbai, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation to catch the kingpins and unearth the entire racket.

Hearing the PIL filed by a social activist, advocate Siddharth Chandrashekhar, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni asked the Mumbai Police to submit the status report of its investigations into the scams by Thursday.

Suggesting that the government and the civic body could form a policy on priority to ensure no innocents suffer, the court wanted to know whether a system could be created to keep track of the doses which are released to the organisers of private inoculation camps in housing societies, corporate houses or educational institutions.

Stressing on the urgent need to form relevant guidelines, the court said that the frauds are taking place mostly in the western suburbs (of Mumbai) and said the racket must be unearthed to find out the kingpin defrauding people in such a ‘novel’ way.

“It is unimaginable that during this time of crisis when the entire humanity is suffering, people are committing such frauds,” the judges noted.

The court further asked the state and the BMC to inform them about the procedures that can be adopted by the housing societies to prevent such fake inoculation camps and said they should invoke the provisions of the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act against the culprits.

The BMC’s counsel, senior advocate Anil Sakhare, informed the court that the Mumbai Police are already investigating the issue and the civic body has also initiated the necessary measures.

“Imagine the plight of the person vaccinated with water. His state of mind is unimaginable,” the court said while hearing the petitioner’s lawyer Anita Castellino on the fraudulent vaccination drive on 390 members and others in the posh Hiranandani Heritage Society in Kandivali west last month.

Later, other instances also came to light, including at the Aditya College in Borivali and the Tips Industries Ltd in Andheri, even as the police swooped and nabbed five persons in connection with the fraud last week.

In most of these #VToo scams that have emerged, there are several common points like the vaccination data not uploaded on the CoWIN portal, the Covid Vaccination Certificate (CVCs) not issued or delayed and coming from different hospitals with many errors, people not experiencing the possible side-effects post-dose, exorbitant charges for vaccines which the government has now started giving for free, the vaccine vials were not sealed or stamped ‘Not For Sale’ etc.

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Crime

Bihar: 3 blasts in 15 days, police suspect conspiracy in Darbhanga case

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Three blasts in different districts of Bihar in just a fortnight have put the state police on high alert. Though an investigation is going on in all these blasts, the police have unearthed a conspiracy angle in the bomb blast that took place at Darbhanga railway station.

On June 8, a blast took place in a madrasa behind a mosque in Bihar’s Banka district. While, it was still under investigation, another blast took place on June 17 in the parcel van at Darbhanga railway station. National investigation agencies have also become alert with regard to the blast in Darbhanga. They are sensing a big conspiracy behind this.

According to police sources, the role of four suspects in the case has emerged.

A probe team led by GRP Darbhanga officer-in-charge went to Secunderabad to identify the person who booked the parcel that exploded later.

The police team investigating the case in Secunderabad has found the address of suspect Mohammad Sufiyan, who booked a parcel in the Secunderabad-Darbhanga Express train.

The explosion had taken place in a bale of cloth at Darbhanga Junction. The bale of cloth in which the blast took place was booked by Mohammad Sufiyan from Secunderabad to Darbhanga. Now the police are looking for this suspect.

Sources reveal that the investigation of this case is being carried out by the Anti-Terrorism Squad of Telangana and Uttar Pradesh along with Bihar ATS.

According to the sources, the investigating agencies have got important clues in this case and have named four suspects.

A vial was also found in the parcel in which the explosion took place. It is being said that there was some chemical substance in it.

After Darbhanga, the police were shocked by another blast, this time in Hussainganj police station area of Siwan.

A police officer said that when Vinod Manjhi was going to the shop with his child, a young man named Sagir gave him a bag with a bomb to keep. Shortly after, the bomb in the bag exploded.

The third blast in a fortnight is keeping the police on its toes.

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Crime

Caste certificate cancellation: SC stays HC order in MP Navneet Kaur Rana’s case

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In a relief for Navneet Kaur Rana, first-time MP from Maharashtra’s Amaravati, the Supreme Court has stayed a High Court order cancelling her Scheduled Caste certificate.

A bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari stayed the operation of the Bombay High Court order and issued notice on her petition against the HC order. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Rana, submitted that the terms Mochi and Chamar are synonymous, and the scrutiny committee had decided her caste status based on original records produced before it. He said the genuineness of the documents was not contested; however, the High Court reversed the scrutiny committee’s decision in a writ petition.

Rana had successfully contested the Amaravati Lok Sabha seat, reserved for Scheduled Castes. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioners who approached the High Court challenging Rana’s caste certificate, submitted before the bench that the vigilance committee had found that the documents were fabricated. Sibal said the stay cannot be granted without hearing him and cited the findings of the vigilance cell relating to fabrication of documents. The bench asked Sibal to file a counter-affidavit in the matter.

The bench noted that if the High Court was dissatisfied with the findings of the scrutiny committee, it should have sent the matter back to the committee for fresh consideration. After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court stayed the High Court order.

Rana had moved the top court challenging the High Court order, which cancelled her caste certificate saying it was obtained using fabricated documents. The MP would have lost her Lok Sabha seat if the court order was not put on hold.

On June 8, the High Court had also imposed a cost of Rs 2 lakh, which she was to deposit with the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority within two weeks.

“In our view, it was systematic fraud committed by the respondent no.3 (Rana) with the assistance of her father to obtain the caste certificate Mochi by fabricating the records to enable her to contest the election for Member of Parliament in the Constituency reserved for reserved category candidate and other benefits available to such caste under Constitution of India,” the High Court had said.

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