Pubdate: Tue, 05 Sep 2006
Source: Asian Pacific Post, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 The Asian Pacific Post.
Bookmark: (Marijuana)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Indian police say they have smashed an international criminal 
syndicate with the arrest of a Surrey man and the seizure of 100 
kilograms of ephedrine worth $24 million dollars that was destined 
for the Canada and U.S. markets.

They also seized three kg of hashish worth 100 million rupees (about 
C$2.4 million) concealed in a consignment of paintings headed for an 
undisclosed location in Canada and about 600 kg of white powdery 
drugs which have been sent for analysis.

Ephedrine is a highly sought-after chemical precursor in the illicit 
manufacture of Crystal Meth, Ecstasy and Ice that are popular at 
all-night dance parties such as "raves" or "trances," dance clubs, and bars.

"The recovery is one of the biggest in the country. It is for the 
first time that such a big haul of party drugs was recovered," said 
Ravindra Yadav, deputy commissioner of police in South Delhi.

The Surrey man was identified as Gurdish Toor, 29, who has been in 
India for the past two years.

The lanky suspect allegedly told police that he cultivated marijuana 
in B.C., works with Asian drug smugglers in Canada and used 
import-export companies as fronts to ship drugs.

In addition to Toor, police have also arrested three Indian nationals 
- - Paramjit Singh, Amit Aggarwal and Kialash Chand Jindal - in 
connection with the case.

Toor entered India on a six month tourist visa in August 2004 and 
never returned to Canada. Indian police said they are checking with 
the RCMP on his background. They said his parents and grandparents 
migrated to Canada in the early seventies.

Following his arrest, Indian newspapers have been questioning why 
Toor, who had been on the police radar for almost two years, was 
allowed to operate with impunity in the Doaba region of Punjab, where 
most Indo-Canadian migrants hail from.

Toor operated firms like Golden Shield Private Limited, Simran Rice 
and Blue Horse Trading Limited in the industrial city of Ludhiana. 
These firms were apparently dealing in export of rice and drugs to 
Canada and the United States.

Police described the companies as fronts for the drug cartel.

Toor, police said, lived a lavish life spending up to 50,000 rupees 
(C$1,100) per day -- a fortune in India where the average income is 
less than $500 a year -- and had a fleet of luxury cars.

He also built a huge mansion and has amassed unaccounted land and 
properties, which police believe are the proceeds of crime.

"The surprising factor is that Toor was operating from Ludhiana with 
impunity where he had set up three export firms. He had also obtained 
an export license from directorate of foreign trade, even though 
getting license is very difficult for genuine exporters," one 
newspaper columnist said.

Yadav, the police official said Toor "was contacted by Canadian and 
Chinese drug cartels and he was supplying this drug to them,"

"We came to know of the shipment three months ago and then we started 
to trace the suppliers," said Yadav, adding that the gang has been 
operating in India for two years.

The arrest comes in the wake of a United Nations report which said 
that Punjab has become major transit point for drugs coming in from 

'World Drug Report' released by the United Nations Office on Drugs 
and Crime (UNODC) two months ago said the availability and 
consumption of drugs have increased in Punjab in the recent years 
with cities like Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, 
Chandigarh and Patiala emerging as hotspots, it said.

In the past 19 months, over 180 foreign nationals, including several 
Indo-Canadians, have been arrested in India on charges of possession 
and peddling in narcotics.

Among them was Canadian Non-resident Indian Gurwinder Singh Dhaliwal 
who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly trying to smuggle 
seven kilograms of heroin to Canada.

In July, The Asian Pacific Post reported the arrest of a 
Vancouver-area couple near the town of Zirakpur, Punjab. Police said 
they found close to one million dollars worth heroin on them.

Police allege that Rajwinder Singh alias Raja and Paramjit Kaur had 
carved false cavities in the bags and spread a layer of carbon in an 
attempt to dodge sniffer dogs and airport X-ray machines.

According to police, Paramjit Kaur first denied that the bags were 
hers, but later admitted to being their owner. But she said that she 
had no idea about the contraband.

She was on her way to New Delhi airport to catch a flight to Canada 
when she was arrested. Punjab police official Shrikant Jadhav said 
after the arrest: "We had information that some NRIs (non-resident 
Indians) who frequently shuttle between Canada and here are involved 
in drug trafficking."

Last November, The Asian Pacific Post in an article entitled Drug 
loot fuels lavish lifestyles in Punjab villages" told the story of 
how some Non-Resident Indians who have made fortunes from the drug 
trade in Canada and the United States are returning home to seek 
refuge, find new opportunities and spend their ill-gotten gains.

One of them was publicly identified in Indian media as 25-year-old 
Randhir Singh alias Dhira from Brampton, Ontario. He was arrested 
with a truckload of drugs.

Punjab, which has produced some of Canada's most illustrious 
Indo-Canadians is also home to some of British-Columbia's top 
Indo-Canadian gangsters.

They include Sukhvinder Singh Dosanjh aka Bicky the alleged leader of 
an Indo-Canadian gang called the Independent Soldiers. Sukhvinder was 
killed in a car crash in Vancouver. His brother Paul Dosanjh was shot 
dead in March 2004 after surviving another attempt on his life one 
year earlier.

Another pair from the area is Ron and Jimmy Dosanjh, considered the 
frontrunners in the Indo-Canadian drug trade.

They were assassinated in separate hits in 1994 and 1995 allegedly 
organized by another self-proclaimed thug Bindy Johal.

Johal was also murdered.

The RCMP estimates that there are about 30 to 40 separate 
Indo-Canadian gangs in British-Columbia"s Lower Mainland, each made 
up of about three or four key members and maybe a dozen associates.

They are thought to be responsible for many of the 100 murders of 
Indo-Canadian gangsters in B.C that dates back a decade. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake