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Noose tightens as ED joins probe against Jaffer Sadiq

Central agency to investigate if drug money was laundered to buy assets.

Noose tightens as ED joins probe against Jaffer Sadiq

Alleged drug cartel kingpin Jaffer Sadiq in NCB custody on Saturday. He was nabbed from the national capital

NEW DELHI: Tightening the leash around the alleged kingpin of an international drug trafficking cartel who was nabbed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case to probe the racket, official sources said Sunday.

The case has been filed by the federal agency under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) taking cognisance of a bunch of FIRs, including the recent NCB case where 36-year-old Jaffer Sadiq was arrested on Saturday for his alleged involvement in the smuggling of about 3,500 kgs of pseudoephedrine with a street value of more than Rs 2,000 crore.

The ED will probe if money earned from the illicit narcotics trade was laundered to create movable and immovable assets by the accused, said the sources, adding that the investigation will run parallel to the NCB probe.

The NCB is also expected to soon summon a DMK functionary in connection with two transactions of Rs 7 lakh made by Sadiq, according to sources in the anti-narcotics agency.

NCB deputy director general (DDG) Gyaneshwar Singh had told reporters on Saturday here that Sadiq’s links with Tamil and Hindi film financiers, some “high profile” people and some instances of “political funding”, were under its scanner.

Sadiq was called the alleged “mastermind and kingpin” of a trans-national pseudoephedrine smuggling racket spread across Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia from India, Singh had said. Sadiq, a producer of Tamil films, was expelled by the ruling DMK in February after his name and purported links to the drugs network were mentioned by the NCB.

The NCB claimed three persons arrested in connection with the case informed it that a total of 45 pseudoephedrine consignments were sent by them over the last three years, containing about 3,500 kg of pseudoephedrine valued at over Rs 2,000 crore in the international market.

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