The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday that it carried out searches at 25 locations in Punjab and Rajasthan on Tuesday in connection with its probe into an illegal drugs trade case and seized cash to the tune of Rs 4.5 crore.
In a statement, the financial probe agency said that it carried out searches under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at various locations in Punjab and Rajasthan
It said that searches were conducted at the residential and commercial premises belonging to Akshay Kumar Chhabra and other associates at Ludhiana, Mohali, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jalandhar (Punjab) and Ganganagar in Rajasthan.
"During the searches, cash amounting to more than Rs 4.5 crore, mobile phones, laptops, and documents related to money trail and property transactions were seized," the agency said.The ED had registered the case on the basis of a case registered by the NCB against Chhabra and associates under various provisions of NDPS Act.
During investigation, it was found that 20.326 kg heroine was recovered by the NCB from Chhabra and other associates' possession.The agency said that its probe has revealed that Chhabra along with his associates were involved in the manufacturing and sale of illicit drugs.
"They used to process smuggled morphine or raw heroin through two Afghanistan nationals and distribute the processed heroin to various drug dealers," the ED said. It was also found that Chhabra generated huge proceeds out of the said illegal drugs trade.
The said proceeds were found to be transferred abroad to foreign-based raw heroin or morphine suppliers through hawala xhannels, utilised by Chhabra for purchasing various movable and immovable properties in his name and in the name of his accomplices, infused in their related entities by way of handing over proceeds of crime in cash to the handler of shell entities and raising fake sales invoices to shell entities and thereby receiving credits from shell entities, the ED said.
According to ED sources, the agency also carried out searches at the premises of Mohali AAP MLA Kulwant SIngh in connection with the case.