Kathmandu, May 26 (IANS) Police in Nepal are probing a suspected link of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in cocaine smuggling in the international market via Nepal.
This follows the recent arrest by Nepal Police of three Pakistani nationals linked to the international drugs market and who are believed to be close to Dawood.
After their involvement in fake currency, and white and brown heroin smuggling, the links of some Pakistani nationals in cocaine smuggling in Europe through Asia have been established by Nepal Police.
Nepal’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seized more than two kg cocaine — estimated to be worth over NRs.53 million ($492,812) — from three foreigners and a Nepali on Wednesday, which has established that some influential drug lords are involved in the racket, police sources here said.
NCB chief and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Jay Bahadur Chand said Ymeris Carmen Narvez of Venezuela, Mohamad Lamine Dabo of Nigeria, Touhid Khan of India, and Dil Bahadur Gurung of Nepal were caught with the cocaine in their possession. The arrested persons had set up links in Hong Kong with the help of Pakistani nationals.
The Pakistani nationals have been identified as Wahid Khan, Adbul Razzak aka Chacha and his brother who are believed to be close to Dawood, who is wanted in India for masterminding the 1993 Mumbai blasts.
With a tip off from the Indian Intelligence Bureau, Nepal Police have made the arrests and found the linkages of Pakistani nationals in the racket.
Chacha and two others — identified as Tiger and Raja Bhai — are considered close to Dawood and have been operating their racket from Dubai, Malaysia and Hong Kong, sources said.
Nepal Police have not made the claim openly but the way the drug smuggling racket is being handled and the names are coming forward, it shows that it is not the work of petty criminals, but one whose names, profession and links are well established, the sources added.
DIG Chand on Wednesday said the arrested were “mules” hired by an international drug cartel that supplies cocaine to European countries. Kathmandu was just one of the many pit stops used by the drug traffickers, he added.
The seized cocaine had been trafficked to Kathmandu from Dubai by a Venezuelan woman, Narvez, on April 24.
A woman identified as Catherine had allegedly promised Narvez $1,500 to smuggle the cocaine to Kathmandu from Dubai, DIG Chand said.
On May 14, Narvez had handed over the drug to Gurung and Nigerian man Dabo. Gurung was long involved in smuggling of hashish to Thailand and Hong Kong.
Gurung had received NepaliRs.1.3 million for this particular job from the Pakistani nationals, DIG Chand said.
He added that the fourth arrested, Khan, had arrived in Kathmandu on May 24.
Gurung was found to have transported cocaine at least 26 times from Nepal to various Asian and European countries.
The NCB team succeeded in intercepting the cocaine and arresting the four suspected smugglers with a tip off that came from two men who had been arrested recently possessing hashish from Kalanki locality, on Kathmandu’s outskirts. The duo had informed police about Gurung and his involvement in the drug trafficking racket.
DIG Chand said two other suspects, one from China and the other from Pakistan, are absconding.
(Anil Giri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)