The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Biswas, wife named witness
- Narcotics bureau slaps charges on seven, including elusive Thanga

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) filed chargesheets at Barasat court on Monday against seven persons running a multi-crore racket in drugs from the ground-floor flat of Upen Biswas’ Salt Lake residence.

Biswas, who retired as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) additional director-general (east), and his wife, Renuka, were two of the 21 witnesses named in the 21-page NCB chargesheet. Admitting that Biswas was one of the most important witnesses, NCB additional director (eastern region) N.C. Patra said he would be produced in court “in person”, as and when the situation demanded. “He and his wife, true to their words, are extending the fullest cooperation to us,” Patra added.

The chargesheet comes almost two months after the sensational May 17 raid on the ground floor of Biswas’ Salt Lake residence. Six of the seven named in the chargesheet are in NCB custody, but Myanmarese national S.N. Thanga, suspected to have headed the operations here, has eluded arrest, said NCB officials.

Two prison vans, swarming with armed policemen, brought the six accused to the court campus around 1.30 pm on Monday. The court building was cleared of everyone barring the NCB, judicial and police officials till the six were produced in court around 3.15 pm.

There was, however, little action in the courtroom. Sixth additional district and sessions judge, Barasat, Samya Sett, denied bail to Lalawizauva, the most recent of the six arrests the NCB has carried out, and fixed the next hearing of the case for July 28. The accused left the court by 4 pm.

The seven accused, including the elusive Thanga, were booked under various clauses of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, NCB counsel Hiralal Bhattacharya said. The May raid had yielded a huge quantity of ephedrine hydrochloride and sophisticated equipment required to make drugs, worth crores of rupees in the international market.

The NCB action in Calcutta was the culmination of a series of raids spanning the United States and China and exposed how the city has, over the years, emerged as a vital link in the international drug-laundering network, officials said on Monday.

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