NEW DELHI: In a major crackdown on gangsters, working in tandem with terrorist groups and drug smugglers based in foreign countries including Pakistan and Canada, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at 76 locations across eight states on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, and seized a large cache of arms and ammunition and cash to tune of ₹2.3 crores.
Three FIRs have been registered by the NIA since August 2022 and several people, including few Kabbadi players, have been identified and arrested for their alleged involvement in terror and other criminal activities, including targeted hits and extortions from leading businessmen and professionals.
Incidentally, the investigations have revealed that conspiracies for several crimes, including the sensational killing of Maharashtra builder, Sanjay Biyani, and Sandeep Nangal Ambia, an international Kabbadi organiser, in Punjab last year, were hatched in jails of different states and executed by an organised network of operatives based abroad.
The raids on Tuesday is the fifth in the series of such crackdowns. They were conducted in Maharashra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi including other North Indian states. These raids, focused on arms suppliers and hawala operators working with these gangs, led to the recovery of nine illegal weapons, including pistols, revolvers and rifles, and ₹1.5 crores in cash. Incriminating material, including documents, hard drives and mobile phones, were seized.
The raids were conducted at 76 locations in North india and closer home in Byculla, Mumbai; Gandhidham in Gujarat; and Dwarka, Central and Outer North Districts of Delhi/ NCR.
The searches were conducted at the premises of hawala operators, kabaddi players, weapon suppliers, gun houses, businessmen and their alleged financers, were also raided.
The investigations have revealed that many criminals, who were leading gangsters in India, had fled to countries like Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia and Australia and were planning their crimes from there in association with criminals lodged in jails in different states. These groups were carrying out targeted killings and raising funds for their nefarious activities through smuggling of drugs and weapons, hawala and extortions.
Further investigations are on to dismantle such terror networks and their funding and support infrastructure.