A special court of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED’s) application seeking details of properties of 18 NRIs, alleged to be involved with notorious drug lord, Jagdish Bhola, a former police officer and wrestler.
Bhola, a former DSP, who allegedly ran a drug cartel in Punjab with the help of many politicians and NRIs, was arrested by the Fatehgarh Sahib police in November 2013.
Most importantly, the names of Edmonton resident Satpreet Satta and Richmond native Parminder Pindi are also on the list of 18.
Satta, who has his roots in Hoshiarpur district, was an influential figure in power corridors of the state during the SAD-BJP regime of 2007-12. This is for the first time that the ED, a central investigative agency, has found something “incriminating” against him.
The court’s decision comes four months after the ED moved the ‘letter of request’ in the CBI court, then in Patiala, under Section 57 of the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002.
ED’s special prosecutor Jagjitpal Singh Sarao said, “The court will forward the ED’s application to the Union ministry for external affairs to open diplomatic channels and ask Canada and the UK to collect property details of the accused.”
Sarao said, “Investigation shows that Bhola’s associates parked a huge amount of money generated from the illegal drug racket in buying properties in the UK and Canada. Their details are vital. Many of them are NRIs too.”
He added, “On our list of 18, we also had Anup Singh Kahlon, an NRI based in Canada, who is one of the key accused in the drug haul case along with his wife Ranjit Kaur.”