Special Task Force (STF) personnel on Tuesday recovered 25kg of drugs, valued at about Rs 100 crore in the international market, from different places in the city and arrested four persons, including a railway engineer.
The huge consignment of the seized charas, a hashish form of cannabis, was to be sent to Europe. The arrested persons have been identified as Avinash Kumar, Surendra Paswan, Manoj Kumar and Sujeet Kumar, the engineer posted at Barauni.
Acting on a tip-off, an STF team headed by deputy superintendent of police Gopal Paswan intercepted Avinash while he was trying to strike a deal near Buddha Smriti Park. Based on his statement, the team conducted raids at different places in the state capital and arrested three other members of the racket. The raids yielded seizure of 25kg of charas.
Sources said the consignments were procured from Nepal. The STF has launched a manhunt for a resident of Raxaul in Champaran district, who had close links with the members of the racket.
The police suspect that the racketeers changed their earlier route and set up their base in Patna following disturbances in Nepal in the past couple of years.
Inspector-general (STF) Amit Kumar said the arrested persons told the police that they had sent drug consignments to European countries earlier through courier.
During interrogation, they admitted that at least 10 consignments were successfully dispatched from Patna through courier to different destinations in Europe in the past four months. But one consignment was seized at an airport in the US about two months ago.
Kumar, who was monitoring the operation, said the seized charas was of high quality. The drugs were concealed in sealed packets and were stuffed beneath an idol of Lord Ganesh. The remaining links of the drug cartel were being probed.
“We have decided to seek the assistance of the Narcotics Control Bureau in the investigation of the case,” he said.
Director-general of police Abhayanand said a case had been instituted with the economic offences unit (EOU) at the state police headquarters under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. “Instructions have been issued to the EOU officials to conduct in-depth investigation,” he said.