The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sleuths back on court route in paper chase

Sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have yet to lay their hands on a few sheaves of papers, believed to be vital clues to cracking the mystery shrouding the drug-haul from former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) additional director Upen Biswas' house.

The CID’s investigation came to a standstill when Barasat court recently rejected its appeal for studying the papers seized from the five foreigners, who had rented the ground floor of Biswas’ Salt Lake house. The judge observed: “The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has already seized the papers. There is no need for the CID to have them.” The CID has decided to move the high court. “We will file our petition soon,” said Banibrata Basu, deputy inspector-general (special).

The case, which has set the police brass on the trail of a global drug-chain with a Salt Lake hub, has not progressed beyond the stage at which the CID had been entrusted with it to find out how so many foreigners had set up base in the Biswas home.

The CID took over the half of the case falling under the jurisdiction of the Foreigners' Act within a week of the May 19 bust, while the drug-trafficking section is being handled by the NCB. The NCB sleuths, on their part, had recovered ephydrine hydrochloride — an ingredient to manufacture amphetamine-type stimulants — worth Rs 5 crore, seized two passports, three driving licences, mobile phones and foreign currency from the ground floor of Biswas’ house. Later, they carried out two raids and found documents showing one of the arrested foreigners’ links with a terrorist outfit in the Northeast.

Basu, overseer of the probe, said: “We are checking out if the five arrested foreigners were staying here illegally. Apparently, the papers, including passports and driving licences, seized from them are fake. We will have to examine the papers with the help of forensic experts. And for this, we need the documents. And if we find the documents to be false, all five will be slapped with another additional charge under the Foreigners' Act.”

An official of the CID’s narcotics wing admitted: “It is a fact that we have failed to make any progress even after a month of taking charge of the investigation. But we cannot initiate our probe till the papers reach us.” The sleuths have yet to visit Dum Dum Central jail to interrogate the foreigners picked up from the Biswas residence. “We won’t be able to interrogate them without an interpreter and we are looking for one,” the official added.

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