The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Wednesday discovered two massive boxes lying in the air cargo section of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, awaiting Customs clearance. The consignee’s name was the clincher — San Niang Thanga, the fugitive Salt Lake ‘drug lord’.
The NCB has sought the Union home ministry’s permission to impound the two boxes, sent to Thanga from China. N.C. Patra, assistant director of the Bureau, told Metro he had got a feedback from the Delhi headquarters that the necessary clearance would come through on Thursday morning.
“We are making arrangements to reach Calcutta airport in the afternoon and impound the boxes,’’ said Patra, adding that sleuths suspect the consignment contains laboratory equipment to manufacture amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) tablets.
According to Patra, the boxes had come through an international courier service and Thanga’s name with his local address, ‘Ground floor, CG 22, Salt Lake’, was mentioned in the consignment note, which also had the name and address of the sender, valuation of the material in the boxes and a remark for Thanga to pay the Customs clearance and collect them from the air cargo section of Calcutta airport,’’ added Patra.
Sleuths checked with the courier agency and traced the boxes to a place near Beijing, in China. “We have seized the documents and have asked the courier service to furnish details of all such consignments for Thanga from there in recent times,’’ said an NCB official. “An official of the courier agency said they had found the Salt Lake house locked on Monday afternoon, before being turned away by Upen Biswas,’’ he added.
San Niang Thanga, member of an international drug cartel run by Ah Hua, had rented the ground floor of the former additional director of Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) in February. NCB sleuths had raided the place and arrested three Myanmarese and two Chinese nationals on Monday, and seized 24 kg of ephedrine hydrochloride and laboratory equipment equipped to produce a lakh ATS tablets, worth Rs 10 crore in the international market.
According to Patra, a check of the outgoing calls from the four seized cellular phones used by Thanga and the five foreigners revealed that they had made several calls to Beijing and other areas in China and Hong Kong. “We dialled some of the numbers in China and Hong Kong but nobody responded,’’ said a sleuth. Bureau officials said they have passed on the names and addresses in Beijing and other areas in China and in Hong Kong to Interpol, DEA, and the FBI.
Patra also said the Bureau would send a letter to Biswas on Thursday, asking him to visit their regional office to provide details related to the probe. Biswas said he was ready to “answer all queries” and cooperate with the Bureau.