2 held in Punjab for using drones to smuggle arms, drugs

Updated December 15, 2020

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Chandigarh, Dec 15 (IANS) Police in Punjab on Tuesday said two members of a module have been arrested for using drones for cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons through an international network that includes Pakistan-based smugglers with links to Khalistani operatives.

The accused, identified as Lakhbir Singh and Bachittar Singh, were arrested by the Amritsar (Rural) Police through certain leads, with further investigations expected to track their associates, including four drug smugglers currently lodged in jail in Amritsar.

Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said one quadcopter drone with a full supporter stand and one SkyDroid T10 2.4GHz 10CH FHSS transmitter, along with mini receiver and camera support, have been seized with one .32 bore revolver, a Scorpio car and some live cartridges and drugs.

Giving details of the case, Gupta said Lakhbir Singh, the main suspect, was arrested from near Gurdwara Tahla Sahib in Chattiwind in Amritsar on Monday.

During investigations, Lakhbir Singh said he had procured a quadcopter drone from Delhi about four months ago and the drone was currently at the residence of his associate Bachittar Singh at Guru Amardas Avenue in Amritsar.

Further investigations under the supervision of Senior Superintendent of Police Dhruv Dhaiya revealed that Lakhbir Singh was in close and frequent contact with four major drug smugglers of Ajnala, who are currently lodged in Amritsar jail.

A search in the prison led to the recovery of a smartphone from the possession of Lakhbir's associate Surjit Masih, a drug smuggler.

According to the DGP, investigations so far show that Lakhbir Singh had established an extensive communication network with foreign smugglers and entities, and was in close and frequent contact with a notorious Pakistan-based smuggler named Chishti.

Chisti is also in touch with Pakistan-based Khalistani operatives, and has been responsible for smuggling of significant cross-border consignments into India from Pakistan in the past.

It was one Simranjit Singh, currently in the Amritsar jail, who persuaded Lakhbir Singh to purchase a drone for cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons.

Simranjit Singh has also been nominated as an accused in the case, said Gupta. About four months ago, Lakhbir Singh and his associate Gurpinder Singh went to New Delhi and purchased a heavy duty quadcopter drone from TRD Enterprises in Janakpuri along with SkyDroid T10 2.4GHz 10CH FHSS transmitter for Rs 4 lakh.

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