The Narcotics control bureau (NCB) on Sunday arrested a resident of Uttar Pradesh from New Delhi airport for his alleged involvement in smuggling of cough syrups to Bangladesh.
Sources said Apurba Mandal, a resident of Baishnabnagar in Malda, was intercepted by the BSF in May last year by for smuggling cough syrup to the neighbouring country.
“Later, the case was later handed over to the NCB. As NCB officers interrogated Mandal, they came to know about Vibhor Rana, who hails from Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. The pharma company where Rana was working as a distributor manufactures the cough syrups which were seized by the BSF last year. In due course, the NCB summoned Rana a number of times for interrogation but he didn’t turn up,” said a source.
“This left the NCB sleuths suspecting that Rana might escape from India and they issued a lookout notice against him. On Sunday, Rana was picked up from the Indira Gandhi international airport in New Delhi,” the source added.
On Monday, Rana was brought in Malda on transit remand here and produced in a court. He was sent to NCB’s custody for nine days.
In Bangladesh, there is a steady demand for cough syrups among drug abusers. In Bengal, Malda is one of the major corridors for smuggling of such cough syrups.
The BSF, police and other agencies seize illegal consignments of such syrups which are brought here from different parts of the country to be smuggled to Bangladesh.
On Sunday, a fish merchant was arrested by the CID from Ghakshol area in Malda district after Rs 1.39 crore was seized from his possession allegedly accumulated from smuggling of cough syrups.
He was produced at a court in Malda and was sent to CID’s custody for 12 days.
“We need to interrogate him to gather more information. We have to find out whether he was directly involved in smuggling or was hoarding somebody else’s money,” said a CID official.