In a major development, the Delhi Police has unearthed a major link of drug nexus between Afghanistan and Punjab and arrested one of the key handlers.
The accused, identified as Pankaj Vaid a.k.a Sanju Baba, was also wanted in UAPA of Jammu, and narcotics cases of Amritsar. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) KPS Malhotra said on Saturday that during the last month, in an operation, ANTF had busted the drug nexus operating from Afghanistan.
During the operation, 21.4 kg of fine quality of heroin valued at Rs 130 crore (in international market) was recovered and four persons including one Afghan national was arrested. "During the investigation, it was uncovered that one of the main links of the cartel, Pankaj Vaid, is supplying the heroin in Punjab and was the single point contact for supplying heroin in Punjab after procuring the same from Afghanistan through Delhi counterparts," DCP Malhotra said.
After the arrest of his associates, Vaid went underground and started changing his hideouts frequently. Simultaneously, the Delhi Police conducted raids in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
"After technical analysis and through manual surveillance, acting on specific input, Pankaj Vaid was arrested from Himachal Pradesh," the senior official said. During questioning, it was revealed that Pankaj is a habitual offender and during his Amritsar jail tenure (in a theft and arms act case), he came in touch with drug peddlers connected to Afghanistan and after coming out from jail, he started working with them.
He is also wanted in a UAPA case in Jammu. Malhotra said the accused Pankaj Vaid was the nodal point for all local drug suppliers who were engaged in heroin trafficking in Punjab. Further identification of the local drug traffickers is underway.
On further interrogation, six properties situated in different parts of India have been identified related to Pankaj and have been acquired through the drug proceeds.
It also come to notice that accused Pankaj Vaid was in the possession of a huge consignment and the same was destroyed by him due to the fear, as his counterparts were arrested by ANTF, the official added.