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Noose tightens on Upen house drug cartel

Calcutta, June 4: The crackdown on the international drug cartel — a splinter of which was busted in the ground floor of the Salt Lake residence of former CBI officer Upen Biswas on May 19 — has gained momentum worldwide.

Sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) today claimed to have established the identity of Wen Delong — druglord San Niang Thanga’s associate arrested from Salt Lake — who moved in drug circles under different aliases.

NCB director-general M.K. Singh said officials found out Delong’s real name was .G. during interrogation. “He was arrested in New York by the US police in 1997 and spent four years in jail there. It was the second time we arrested him from Salt Lake,” he said.

In China, 32 core members of the international drug cartel were rounded up by the US Drug Enforcement Agency during an undercover operation stretching from May 16 to 24, Singh added. The kingpin, Kim Cheung Wong, and Ah Hua are now in the custody of the Chinese police.

The racket busted in Calcutta was believed to be run by the Ah Hua gang, but now it appears that he used to work under Wong. Thanga, another core member of the gang, who was given charge of the Northeast and was staying in Biswas’ house, has again evaded arrest.

“The drug cartel busted by the NCB is part of the international gang called ‘125’, whose ring leader is Wong,” said Singh. “Wong runs his gang under his nickname. This international druglord identifies himself as ‘125’ as he weighs 125 kg.”

Chinese drug enforcement agency officials are expected to visit India soon to assist the investigation into the nationwide network of drug trafficking which seems to have close links with gangs in China and Myanmar.

Singh — in the city in connection with the inquiry — said though India and China do not have a bilateral agreement under the UN convention on narcotics, an effort is on to press forward with the probe. He said the Myanmarese government had responded positively.

Singh said the narcotics network, financed mostly by the Chinese druglords, are active in different parts of the country, particularly the Northeast and in the western and southern states. “The Chinese druglords have selected India to set up a laboratory as we produce a huge a quantity of ephydrine hydrochloride — a controlled substance — every year. We prepare it for manufacturing medicines, but it can also be used for making ATS — a substitute for heroin,” he said.

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