BSF constable, two others held by Pb police in cross-border drugs, arms smuggling racket


PTI, Aug 2, 2020, 5:16 PM IST

Chandigarh: A BSF constable and two others have been arrested in a cross-border smuggling racket of drugs and weapons, the Punjab police said on Sunday.

A .30 bore, made-in-China pistol along with five live cartridges and Rs 24.50 lakh were recovered from the three accused, identified as Border Security Force Constable Rajendra Prashad and two locals, Surmail Singh and Gurjant Singh, said Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta.

The BSF constable, a resident of Ganga Nagar district of Rajasthan, was posted at a Border Outpost at Chhina village in Taran Tarn district.

Prashad is the second BSF constable arrested recently by the Punjab police in a cross-border smuggling racket. The police had arrested another BSF constable, Sumit Kumar, posted at Sambha in Jammu and Kashmir, in another cross-border smuggling case.

Giving details of the operation, Gupta said acting on a tip-off, a Jalandhar Rural police team had on July 26 apprehended two smugglers, who were coming in a car from Delhi. The cops had recovered 25 gm of heroin from them. On questioning, the duo identified themselves as Surmail Singh and Gurjant Singh. Surmail’s further questioning led to the recovery of the pistol along with five live rounds. During questioning, the duo had also revealed that they were working with a cross-border smuggler, Satnam Singh alias Satta, a resident of Tarn Taran district.

Satta was closely linked with Pak-based smugglers in smuggling heroin and weapons from Pakistan. They also disclosed that BSF constable Rajendra Prashad was also involved in the smuggling racket.

The DGP said he contacted his counterparts in the BSF and Rajasthan for the arrest of the BSF constable. He was apprehended by the Punjab police on July 28 from his residence in Rawala Mandi, where he was availing his leave, said the DGP in a statement here.

During questioning, the BSF constable revealed that he had been roped into the drug smuggling racket by Satnam Singh, who promised him money for ignoring the smuggling of arms and narcotics consignment through his border post.

He then allowed the gang to bring in a consignment of 17 kg of heroin and two foreign-made pistols in May. This time again, Satnam Singh, in connivance with Rajendra Prashad, Surmail Singh and Gurjant Singh, was to bring in another consignment of heroin and arms from his Pakistan-based handlers. Satnam had allegedly given Rs 5 lakh and a mobile phone to Prashad in advance for receiving this composite consignment.

The DGP said out of Rs 24.5 lakh, Rs 15 lakh was recovered from the residence of Satnam Singh, Rs 5 lakh from the BSF constable and Rs 4.5 lakh from Gurjant Singh.

The police were working to get the kingpin, Satnam Singh, extradited from Muscat, Oman, where he had fled after he was declared proclaimed offender in two smuggling cases. He used a fake Passport and Aadhar card issued in the name of Gurmeet Singh to escape, said DGP Gupta.

The accused had five cases of smuggling registered against him earlier. Satnam Singh’s ill-gotten property, which he had purchased using drug money in the name of his family relative Maninder Kaur at Sandhu Colony Amritsar, has been frozen, he added.

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