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ED raids multiple locations in Tamil Nadu linked to film producer and ex-DMK leader Jaffer Sadiq in drugs case

Raids at multiple locations is underway in Tamil Nadu in relation to drug-syndicate related money laundering case. Film producer and former DMK leader Jaffer Sadiq is one of the accused.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 09, 2024 17:48 IST
ED raids various locations in Tamil Nadu as part of an
Image Source : ANI ED raids various locations in Tamil Nadu as part of an investigation into drug-related money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday raided multiple locations in Tamil Nadu including Chennai as part of an investigation into a drug-related money laundering case involving former DMK member Jaffer Sadiq and others, sources have informed.

Jaffer Sadiq is also a film producer. He was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) after Rs 2,000 crore worth of drugs were seized.

Jaffer was earlier associated with MK Stalin's Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

The raids that commenced in the morning follow the recent interrogation of film director Ameer in a case related to the arrest of Jaffer Sadik.

Over 25 locations were searched by ED officials 

As many as 25 premises in state capital Chennai, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli were searched by the ED officials, accompanied by an escort of central paramilitary forces.

Some documents and electronic gadgets have been seized during the operation, they said.

The action is being undertaken as part of a case registered under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the officials said.

The premises of Sadiq, who is also a producer of Tamil films, film director Ameer and some others are being covered, they said.

NCB arrested Jaffer Sadik in March  

Sadiq, 36, was arrested by the NCB last month for his alleged involvement in the smuggling of about 3,500 kg of pseudoephedrine with a street value of more than Rs 2,000 crore.

The ED took cognisance of this NCB case and some other FIRs to file the money laundering case against Sadiq and others.

The NCB has said Sadiq's links with Tamil and Hindi film financiers, some "high-profile" people and some instances of "political funding" were under its scanner.

Sadiq was expelled by the ruling DMK in February after his name and purported links to the drugs network were mentioned by the NCB.

Tamil Nadu Law Minister and DMK leader S Regupathy had asserted last month that his party had no links with Sadiq.

Talking about the the issue of Sadiq being given membership in the party despite his alleged links to a separate and old narcotics case, Regupathy told reporters that his party has over two crore members and it is not practically possible to check the antecedents of every single person who sought admission into it.

Sadiq was called by the NCB as the alleged "mastermind and kingpin" of a trans-national pseudoephedrine smuggling racket spread across Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia from India.

The case came to light after the NCB along with the special cell of the Delhi Police raided a godown located in Delhi on February 15 and arrested three persons.

This action came on a tip-off the NCB received towards the end of 2023 from the Australian and New Zealand authorities about "large quantities" of pseudoephedrine concealed in desiccated coconut powder and mix food powder being smuggled into their countries from India.

The NCB claimed the three arrested persons and Sadiq informed them that a total of 45 pseudoephedrine consignments were sent by them over the last three years, containing about 3,500 kg of pseudoephedrine valued at over Rs 2,000 crore in the international market.

Sadiq, according to the NCB's claim, pumped and invested his alleged drugs trade earned money into his "front or cover businesses" of movie production, real estate and hospitality among others.

A Tamil film named 'Mangai' was "entirely funded" by the accused from the drugs money. He also constructed a hotel in Chennai, a senior NCB officer had told reporters during a press conference in Delhi last month.

According to the NCB, Sadiq allegedly used to get Rs 1 lakh per kg "cut" (commission) from the smuggling of narcotics.

The anti-narcotics agency has questioned some more people linked to the case since it arrested Sadiq.

Pseudoephedrine is a highly addictive synthetic drug, and even though it has some legal uses, it is classified as a controlled substance in India, bringing strict regulation on its production, possession, trade, export and use. It is used to prepare a synthetic drug called methamphetamine.

Illegal possession and trade of pseudoephedrine is punishable up to 10 years of imprisonment under the NDPS Act.

The ED officials refused to comment on the details of the latest searches and raids.

With inputs from PTI

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