Pune, May 23 UNI | 2 months ago

The Pune city police have arrested three persons, including an army jawan posted in Jmmu and Kashmir, in connection with the illegal brown sugar trade with alleged links in Pakistan.

Acting on a tip-off by Havaldar Pandit Tapkir of Bhosari police station, a team of senior inspector Chandrakant Bhosale and inspector Satyawan Patil, laid a trap and intercepted a car near MIDC junction in Bhosari on Wednesday night.

The police arrested the three persons tavelling in a car with 326.5 gram of brown sugar estimated to be worth Rs 7.63 lakh.

They are identified as Sandeep Raghunath Kolhe (26) of Raipur in Chandwad taluka of Nashik, Saurabh Sanjay Walunj (22) and Deepak Ratnakar Gaikwad (23), both residents of Mahad taluka in raiad district of Maharashtra.

According to the police here today, Mr Kolhe is attched to 19 Maharashtra Battalion and is posted in Kupwada in Jammu and Kashmir.

He is currently on a 30-days leave. A senior police officer, said during interrogations, Mr Kolhe said he procured the brown sugar from a man in Jammu and Kashmir having links with Pakistan. He came in contact with Walunj and Gaikwad through a middleman in Raigad.

A search has been launched to nab this middleman. Bhosale said the three were going to Sholapur to deliver the consignment of brown sugar. We nabbed them in Bhosari. We recovered the brown sugar they had kept in a bag placed in the boot of the car. We have also impounded the car. The three suspects have been arrested under sections of the Narotics drugs and psychotropic substanes act. the suspects could be linked to a bigger racket of brown sugar trade.

Meanwhile, operatives of intelligence agencies were pressed into action as the involvement of an army jawan in the contraband trade was revealed. It is a being probed if Mr Kolhe developed contact with brown sugar smugglers opereating on the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kahsmir.

The police supects he was involved in drug dealings in the past. Investigations are on to find out if more people from the Army were involved in this racket.

Police are also procuring the details of Mr Walunj and Mr Gaikwad to know if they were involved in any criminal activities in the past.

The three suspects were produced before a magistrate court yesterday which remanded them in police custody till May 26.

(Posted on 23-05-2014)