The Punjab Police have arrested two members of a module using drones for cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons through an international network, including Pakistan-based smugglers with links to Khalistani operatives.

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

DGP Dinkar Gupta disclosed that 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, along with one .32 bore Revolver and 1 Scorpio car HR-35M-3709, as well as some live cartridges and drugs.

Giving details of the case, the DGP said that Lakhbir Singh, r/o village Chak Mishri Khan, PS Lopoke, the main suspect, was nabbed from near Gurudwara Tahla Sahib, PS Chattiwind, Amritsar (Rural) on Monday.

During investigations, Lakhbir Singh revealed that 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, Amritsar.

Further investigations, spearheaded by ASP Rana and DSP Nagra, under the supervision of SSP, Dhruv Dhaiya, revealed that Lakhbir Singh was in close and frequent contact with 4 major drug smugglers of Ajnala, who are currently lodged in Amritsar Jail. A search in the prison led to the recovery of a touch 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 namely Chishti. Chisthi 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 Simranjit Singh, currently in 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, Janakpuri, along with SkyDroid T10 2.4GHz 10CH FHSS Transmitter, for Rs 4 lakhs.

An FIR no. 202 dated 14.12.2020 u/s 411, 414 IPC, 25 Arms Act, 21, 23 NDPS Act, 10, 11, 12 Aircraft Act, 1954, PS Gharinda, has been registered against Lakhbir Singh and Bachittar Singh, both r/o Chak Mishri Khan, PS Lopoke and Gurpinder Singh Khapar Kheri, PS Gharinda, and unknown people.