Overseas drug trafficking: Probe on Kasaragod racket comes to a standstill

Overseas drug trafficking: Probe on Kasaragod racket comes to a standstill

Kochi: The investigations related to the Kasaragod drug trafficking racket which used to smuggle drugs narcotics and psychotropic substances to Gulf countries has come to a standstill.

The Kochi Customs had conducted a detailed probe into the whole drug trafficking racket with the cooperation of District Anti Narcotics Special Action Force (DSNSAF) Malappuram. During the probe it was found that the persons arrested in various airports across Kerala while attempting to smuggle drugs and narcotics substances to the Gulf countries including Qatar, were actually carriers of the Kasaragod gang.

It was also found that for years the Kasaragod gang had been involved in drug trafficking to the Gulf countries through these carriers and on their return they used to smuggle in gold. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had also found that some of the members of the gang were active in trafficking narcotics even from Qatar jail where they were lodged. According to available information, this particular gang intervened in drug trafficking till the period before lock down was clamped in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

It was also proved during the course of investigations that huge cash transactions had taken place through the bank account of Abdul Hamid , a resident of Vellarkkad in Thrissur district who is currently lodged in a Qatar jail in a narcotics case. On the day NCB conducted raids in Hamid's house his bank account had Rs 85 lakh . The very next day the money was transferred to several other accounts.

According to the information received by the investigation agencies, 116 Malayali youths were arrested in Qatar for smuggling of drugs and narcotics substances during 2018-19 period.

Subsequently senior officials from Qatar had arrived in Kerala in August last year and conducted investigations here. This led to the central agencies and state police initiating a probe into the Kasaragod drug gang. But the probe initiated by three agencies came to a standstill following the declaration of COVID-19 lockdown.

The investigation agencies had also found that the arrest of a youth belonging to Manjeri in Qatar in December 2019 and the subsequent seizure of 1.5 kg hashish from Manjeri , seizure of half kg of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) commonly known as ecstasy or molly which is a psychoactive drug in September 2019, from a person belonging to Kannur at the Kozhikode international airport were cases directly related to the Kasaragod drug trafficking gang.

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