March 30, 2016 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today held a press conference in Chandigarh to present documents related to the investigation carried by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Punjab Revenue minister Bikram Majithia. AAP leaders alleged that the documents show “neck deep involvement in multi billion dollar international drug cartel”.
The Aam Aadmi Party alleged that though strong evidence came up several times against Majithia during the course of investigations in the multi crore drug racket but ED and Punjab Police have failed to act against him and take the case to its logical end.
AAP also questioned why Majithia’s properties have not been attached while the ED and Punjab Police have more substantial evidence against him than 104 similar cases involved in the drug smuggling.
Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh senior AAP leaders Ashish Khetan accompanied by Sanjay Singh, Himmat Singh Shergill, Aman Arora, CD Kamboj & RR Bhardwaj said the ED evidence showed how Majithia provided patronage and protection to several international drug smugglers who used his (Majithia)’s residence in Amritsar as base for drug smuggling.
Khetan maintained that if AAP forms the government in state then it would surely send Majithia to jail on the basis of evidence it has gathered from the various investigating agencies.
“From now onwards the countdown begins for Majithia to go to jail”, said Khetan adding that only an honest government like that of AAP can probe the drug smuggling racket in Punjab with utmost sincerity and take on high and mighty involved in the same.
Ashish Khetan while presenting the documents to the media said several accused named Bikram Majithia as a link between local smugglers and international cartels.
He said ED records showed that drugs worth thousands of crores were both smuggled in and out of Punjab by cartels linked to Majithia.
Punjab police obliterated evidence linking the arrested drug smugglers with the revenue minister who is also the brother-in-law of Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, he alleged.
He further maintained that Bikram Majithia’s mention was omitted from the statements of the drug smugglers recorded by Punjab Police, said Khetan while adding that the same smugglers narrated Majithia’s role in detail while recording their statements before ED.
AAP leader maintained that Majithia has made multiple trips to Canada, US and Europe over the last ten years and alleged that Bikram Majithia had also rented an apartment in Canada.
At least three smugglers linked to Majithia were based out of Canada, Khetan maintained.
Aam Aadmi Party released six statements of three drug smugglers recorded on different dates by ED under section 25 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. As per law these statements are admissible in court.
AAP said that ED reports to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Bikram Majithia was the chief organizer of Jaitley’s election campaign during 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Amritsar.
The ED probe officer was transferred 20 days after he summoned Majithia to investigate his role in drug trade. The transfer was subsequently stayed by the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
Ashish Khetan said SAD (Badal) is a close ally of BJP and part of NDA government at the Centre. BJP is also part of SAD government in Punjab. Majithia’s sister Harsimrat Kaur Badal is a minister in Modi government.
Maninder Singh Aulakh, an accused charged under NDPS and PMLA act, stated in his statement dated 12.1.15 that the drug businesses were carried out with full knowledge of Majithia.
Jagjit Singh Chahal, another alleged smuggler and Aulakh have linked Majithia with three Canada based smugglers of Indian origin. Their names are Satpreet Singh Satta, Amarinder Singh Laddi and Parminder Singh Pindi. All three are currently wanted by ED and Punjab Police. Red Corner Notices were issued against Laddi and Pindi in September, 2015.
Another alleged international drug smuggler named Jagdish Singh Bhola has also named Bikram Majithia as being involved in drug trade, a written release by AAP notes.
AAP release further notes that Jagdish Bhola and Aulakh have narrated an instance where a dispute arose out of the supply of inferior quality of synthetic drugs by local manufacturers to Majithia’s associates. Upon Majithia’s intervention the dispute was finally settled and the money was returned.
Since March 2014, ED has filed four chargesheets against 50 odd drug smugglers. But there is pressure not to charge Majithia and soft peddle the whole probe.
The drug racket operating in the state of Punjab and having national and international ramifications was first busted when multiple FIRs under NDPS, IPC and Arms Act were registered by the Punjab Police in the year 2013 and 2014.
The police action had come in the wake of all round criticism of the failure of the Badal government in checking the floroushing drug industry in Punjab. Consequent to that, the Enforcement Directorate also registered its case Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) No. 02/JLZO/2013 dated 25-03-2013 under the provisions of PMLA, 2002 incorporating all the FIRs connected with the case.
As on date, 8 FIRs have been included in the abovesaid case ECIR for the purpose of investigation under the provisions of PMLA. In these 8 FIRs registered by the police, the Punjab police has charge sheeted 104 accused persons which are pending trial.
During investigation, statements of a number of accused persons as well as witnesses have been recorded and several documents from different agencies / authorities have also been collected. The investigation has revealed the names of a number of associates (including NRIs) of the accused who appear to be involved in the offence of money laundering arising from the proceeds of crime generated from the crime of drugs trafficking. The total number of accused and associates in the case registered with ED is exceeding more than 120 now.
The investigation conducted so far has revealed that a variety of drugs and narcotics like Heroin, Methaphatamine (Ice drug), Pseudoephedrine and related chemicals have been recovered by the Police from the possession of accused persons. The sale of said Narcotics Drugs by the accused and the associates inside and outside the country has resulted in generation of substantial proceeds of crime which has invariably been parked in movable and immovable assets.
ED has told the court that the accused and their associates have generated thousands of crores of rupees in cash from the drug crime and the same has been invariably routed into movable/immovable properties.
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Related Topics: Aam Aadmi Party, Bikram Majitha, Drug Addiction Problem, Himmat Shergill, Punjab Politics, Sanjay Singh AAP