India’s Kullu police brought a Nigerian drug kingpin, identified as Okechukwu Mathew to Manali on Tuesday after arresting him in Delhi. The police team also seized 1.55kg heroin, worth Rs 4 crore in international market, from his rented house in New Delhi on Monday night. The arrest was made following a tip off from a drug peddler nabbed from Manikaran area on February 11.
Manali police had jailed the Nigerian, identified as Okechukwu Matthew, earlier in 2014 after arresting him with 20g cocaine. He was released in 2015. The accused used to supply small quantities of drugs, mostly in tourist places, with help of peddlers on commission basis.
Kullu police had arrested Praveen Kumar Samal, 26, resident of Keonjhar district in Odisha, for drug peddling on February 11 and seized 15g heroin from his possession.
He told his interrogators that Okechukwu supplied him heroin and that he had been in touch with him since the last one month. He also disclosed that he had brought small quantity of heroin to Kullu for third time and that they were targeting tourist destinations on priority.
A police team then took Praveen to Delhi and raided the rented accommodation of the Nigerian national on Monday. The team seized 1,550g heroin from his residence and arrested him.
Kullu superintendent of police Padam Chand said a special investigation team, headed by additional superintendent of police Nishchint Singh Negi, will probe the source of heroin for the Nigerian.
“The SIT will also investigate if there are more people involved in the trade and which are their supply areas,” he maintained.
Himachal, especially Kullu, is notorious for production and supply of charas.
Arrests for possession of charas are normal in Kullu. Over the year, cases of possession of other drugs like heroin, cocaine, brown sugar and LSD have increased in Kullu. Delhi police on February 9 had arrested a Nigerian from Dwarka area and recovered 330g heroin and 170g cocaine from his possession.
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