Drug money seizure: NIA nabs suspect, search op continues

Amritsar, February 5

A day after the seizure of Rs 20 lakh drug money along with 130 bullets, sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) along with forensic experts continued their search at the rented accommodation of Manpreet Singh, an alleged hawala operator and accomplice of drug peddlers Ranjit Singh Cheeta and Iqbal Singh Shera, for the second consecutive day today.

The NIA arrested Manpreet late on Thursday and would produce him in the special court at Mohali for further remand. Manpreet, who hails from Teja Khurd village in Gurdaspur, had been living in the rented house on the Loharaka road for the past three months claiming to be a farmer. According to his neighbours, he kept to himself.

The house is owned by Mahesh Sharma, who claimed he had submitted the rent deed and other documents to the Sadar police station for further verification. The NIA team also questioned him and the property dealer who brokered the deal.

As per information, when the NIA team raided the house yesterday, Manpreet did not open the gates and flushed “something” into the toilet. Following this, the sewerage was dug up inside the house. The NIA suspected he might have flushed narcotics to destroy evidence.

Manpreet was reported to be close to drug peddlers Cheetah and Shera, who was arrested in connection with the Hizbul Mujahideen narco-terror module busted by the Amritsar City police in April 2020 following the arrest of over-ground worker Hilal Ahmad Shergojri of the banned terrorist organisation.

Hilal, an accomplice of Riyaz Ahmed Naikoo who was gunned down by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, had come to collect funds for nefarious activities in the Valley. The city police had recovered Rs 29 lakh along with a truck from his possession at that time. The case was handed over to the NIA in May 2020. — TNS

Drug money seizure: NIA nabs suspect, search op continues