New Delhi : Lawrence Bishnoi was also involved in cross-border drug trafficking and a Nigerian woman was working for him, claims Gujarat ATS which now wants to interrogate the gangster in connection with the Al-Tayyasa boat matter in which 38.994 kg heroin worth Rs 194.97 crore was recovered from Mitha Port.
“Six Pakistani nationals who were on board the boat were held. Later, it was learnt that consignment was sent for Bishnoi by Pakistan-based handlers under the supervision of a Nigerian woman. Calls were made from Punjab Jail. While two of the accused have been interrogated, we want to quiz Bishnoi for which his production warrant is being sought,” said the source.
Based on credible information received by the Gujarat ATS, a joint operation was carried out by Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Indian Coast Guard. They apprehended a Pakistani fishing boat “Al-Tayyasa” carrying six Pakistani nationals.
Those nabbed were identified as — Mohammed Shafi, Imran, Mohsin Shehzad, Zahoor Ahmed, Mohammad Sohail and Mohammad Kamran. Also, 38.994 kg heroin worth Rs 194.97 crore was seized from the boat.
The said consignment was loaded near Pasni Port of Balochistan, Pakistan and was to be delivered in Indian waters near IMBL near Jakhau sea.
Role of Abdullah, Pakistani national and Lawrence Bishnoi:
Later, two persons — Sartaj Salim Malik and Mohammad Shafi alias Jaggi Singh Veerpal Singh — were also arrested from Ahmedabad, when they arrived to take the delivery of the consignment.
“During the course of investigation, the Gujarat police learnt that the consignment of drugs was sent to India by one Abdullah, a Pakistani national on the instructions of Lawrence Bishnoi. Abdullah and the owner of Pakistani fishing boat one Jameel Ahmed had loaded the consignment through their four associates, who carried the consignment in a fiber speed boat and loaded the same in the Pakistani boat ‘Al-Tayyasa’ in sea near Pasni Port of Balochistan, Pakistan,” said a source.
The sources said that the consignment was to be delivered in Indian waters near Jakhau to a boat with the call-sign ‘Jumma’.
Calls made from Punjab Jail:
One of the arrested accused Sartaj Salim Malik, in his statement, had stated that he had been contacted through mobile by his brother-in-law Mehraj Rahmani from Kapurthala Jail, Punjab who told him that within 15 days a consignment of Lawrence Bishnoi would be delivered by Abdullah.
Rahmani further asked Sartaj to keep a car ready for receiving it. One Nigerian woman, Anita, alias Bongani Thandile associated with Bishnoi would contact him and give him further instructions in this regard.
Sartaj and Jaggi were supposed to come to Gujarat for taking delivery of consignment of drugs as per the instructions of Anita.
On September 3 or 4, 2022, Anita told Sartaj that she got a message of Chief Obonna from the jail that the consignment of Lawrence Bishnoi was to be delivered in boat of Abdullah to Gujarat and he (Sartaj) and Jaggi were supposed to go to Ahmedabad by car and put up in a hotel.
Both were asked to contact Abdullah on WhatsApp and take the delivery from the said place.
Anita also told them that if anything goes wrong, Lawrence Bishnoi would get her and Sartaj killed, so the delivery must be taken very carefully.
“Anita would pay Rs five lakh each to Sartaj and Jaggi besides the car and hotel expenses. Hence Sartaj and Jaggi arrived in Ahmedabad on September 6, 2022 and stayed in a hotel near RTO circle. When they were about to leave for Bhuj to take the delivery, they were apprehended by ATS Gujarat on September 15,” the source said.
All the six arrested Pakistanis, along with arrested accused Sartaj and Jaggi, were sent to Police custody till September 26, 2022. After that they were remanded to judicial custody.
Interrogation on Punjab Jail inmates:
Two wanted accused — Chief Obonna and Mehraj Rahmani — were undergoing their sentences in different cases. Both the accused were produced before a special Magistrate in Gujarat on March 6, 2023 by the ATS. Later, they were sent to police custody till March 14.
After the completion of the police remand period, both — Chief Obonna and Mehraj Rahmani — were sent to Amritsar and Kapurthala jail respectively.
“Since the accused Anita could not be located, we want to question Lawrence Bishnoi about his involvement and to know about the absconding woman. Bishnoi can divulge more information regarding the original identity of Abdullah of Pakistan who sent the consignment of heroin. Also, his interrogation can help us unearth the network of drug traffickers who are involved in cross-border trafficking of contrabands,” the source said.