Millennium Post

Amritsar drug haul case: STF arrests Akali Dal leader, money exchanger

Chandigarh: The Punjab Police's Special Task Force (STF) on Wednesday arrested Shiromani Akali Dal leader Anwar Masih and a money exchanger in connection with the Amritsar heroin haul case.

Masih had been under investigation since 194 kg of heroin was recovered from his house in Amritsar district's Sulwantwind village on January 31, they said.

The Akali leader, who was a Subordinate Services Board (SSB) member during the erstwhile SAD-BJP state government's tenure, was produced before a court and remanded to two days' custody.

The money exchanger was identified as Harnit Singh alias Honey, who has an office in Landa Bazaar. He was arrested for allegedly receiving Rs 75 lakh from an accused in the drug haul case, an official of the anti-drug STF said. According to investigations conducted by the STF, Harnit was allegedly given Rs 75 lakh by an accused in the drug haul case, Ankush Kapoor, the official said.

"After receiving money from Ankush, Harnit transferred Rs 75 lakh, which was part of drug money, to some people last month. We are trying to find out who Harnit gave this money to," the police official, who is part of the investigation in the case, said.

Kapoor, a cloth merchant, along with Simranjit Sindh Sandhu, a proclaimed offender, was identified as the kingpin of the drug racket by the STF.

Six people, including an Afghan national and woman, were arrested in the case.

In addition to the heroin, the STF had also seized 38 kg dextromethorphan; 25 kg caffeine powder, probably used to cut and mix the heroin; and six drums containing 207 kg of chemical composition from Masih's house.

Though Masih had claimed that he had rented out the house to the six accused, he failed to produce any written rent agreement and the people of the area were also unaware of any tenants living there, the police had said.

Investigations revealed that Masih's house was being used by the accused for refining and manufacturing drugs for a month, they had said.

The SAD leader was arrested on Wednesday when he again failed to show any documents to prove that he had rented out the house to the six accused, the STF said.

STF chief Harpreet Sidhu said that Masih had also not got the tenant verification done as per law.

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