Army Officer is Drug Smuggler?

Imphal (Manipur): A Lieutenant Colonel of the Indian Army and six others were chased down by police and arrested for attempting to smuggle illegal drugs. They are believed to be part of a drug smuggling cartel.

The defence ministry’s public relations officer at  Imphal, Lt Col Ajay Chaudhary, arrested in Manipur with six others. Police caught them with illegal drugs worth Rs15 crore, meant to be smuggled out to bordering Burma (Myanmar).

The group, included a soldier from the territorial army,a manager with a private airline, were caught at Pallel, about 60km from Imphal, after a chase by the police.

The contraband was found inside three vehicles at Pallel, Manipur Police said, adding they had taken into custody Defence PRO Colonel Ajay Chaudhary, his assistant R.K. Babalu, IndiGo assistant manager Brojendro Singh, besides three others.

Sources in the the army headquarters admitted that the group was ferrying tablets of the banned pseudoephedrine, a decongestant that can be abused as stimulant, among other contraband, in three vehicles towards Moreh, a border town in Burma. The other drugs included Respifed, Omkop, Hilcold, Polyfed and Actidin tablets.

Contraband medicines are used to manufacture heroin in Burma, say reports

Contraband medicines are used to manufacture heroin in Burma, say reports

Lt Col Chaudhary, who has been the MoD’s public relations officer at Imphal for over three years, was leading the convoy in his official vehicle.

When they were intercepted by the police, Lt Col Chaudhary identified himself as the Ministry of Defence’s spokesperson. But immediately, all of them allegedly sped away. The police chased them for 2 kms before nabbing them.

“The matter is under investigation and strict action will be taken as per the law of the land,” army spokesperson Colonel Jagdeep Dahiya said in Delhi.

The police, who are investigating where the drugs were procured from, suspect that those arrested are part a drug smuggling cartel in the state. All of them have been kept at the Kakching police station in Thoubal district following their interrogation at Pallel.

“He (Chaudhary) initially said he thought the merchandise was the personal belongings of his friend, an assistant manager with a private airlines who was traveling with him,” the police said, adding that, “he kept quiet when he was questioned further”.

Another report says that  after being caught, Col Ajay Chowdhary said that nephew of a senior army officer had told him to bring a package he was expecting from the border (Myanmar). “We were stopped by commandoes on the way back with the package in the car,” he added.

Sitanshu Kar, the additional director general, media and communication in the MoD in Delhi,to whom Lt Colonel Chaudhary used to report, said he was yet to get any official report from the Manipur police on this. “A departmental action will be initiated against him (Lt Colonel Chaudhary) once we get an official communication from the state government.”

The drugs included 2 lakh strips of tablets of Respifed, Omkop, Hilcold, Polyfed and Actidin and were worth Rs 15 crore, they said, adding it was one of the biggest drug hauls in the state.

Share Button
Posted by on February 26, 2013. Filed under Burma,Manipur,NORTH EAST,SOUTH-ASIA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login