LoC drug haul: Punjab consignee still at large

SRINAGAR: The Punjab based consignee of the multi-crore drug consignment that was seized from LoC last month, leading to standoff between India and Pakistan trade, is still at large. 

Police sources said they have launched a nationwide manhunt for the Punjabi drugs kingpin.

Sources said the state police was in touch with Punjab police which has even arrested an alleged associate of the ultimate consignee of 114 Kg of brown sugar seized at the Trade Facilitation Centre at Salamabad Uri on January 17.

“The investigations are on and a manhunt has already been launched for the Punjab based consignee. We are in touch with Punjab police and I hope there will be some breakthrough very soon,” IGP Kashmir A G Mir told a local news agency. 

Another top police officer said that Punjab police has arrested an associate of the alleged kingpin. 

“Our team led by a Sub Division Police Officer has returned from Punjab with some vital information about the Punjab based drug kingpin. Punjab police has already arrested one of his associates who is said to be a businessman,” the officer said on the condition of anonymity 

Sources claimed that former LoC Traders Union president Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, arrested by police in Baramulla, has also disclosed some vital information related to the drugs seizure. 

However, the police has found no prima facie involvement of truck driver from Pakistan controlled Kashmir, Mohammad Shafiq Awan, who was arrested on January 17 after seizure of drug shipment from his truck.

Showkat Habib of Bandipore, the trader in whose name the shipment was registered is already under arrest. However, Tariq and his associates are understood to be commission agents for the ultimate consignee from Punjab. 

Meanwhile, sources said that police is likely to file charge sheet against the Pakistani driver in a Baramulla court within a few days.  (KNS)

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