Bengaluru: ED sniffs laundering, seeks details in Sandalwood case | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Suspecting a money-laundering angle, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday sought details from Bengaluru police about the arrested persons in the drug racket, opening a new line of investigations into the murky narcotics episode.
Sleuths from the ED held discussions with the Central Crime Branch (CCB) for over two hours on Thursday. The ED’s interest in the narcotic probe comes in the backdrop of reports that the party organisers and those attending the parties were procuring drugs from foreign nationals, especially those from African countries. The ED’s queries were: How were the payments made to drug suppliers and how did they transfer money home?
Bengaluru City police commissioner Kamal Pant told reporters: “The ED sleuths wanted to understand how the drug mafia worked and we have explained to them. At this stage, I cannot comment more on their visit.”
Raids could end city’s social life: Partygoers
The involvement of several agencies, including the ED, has amplified fear among partygoers, who say this could effectively end Bengaluru’s social life. However, Pant said, “Social life is part of Bengaluru. We, the police, are never against it. We are worried about the use of drugs in parties. Drug mafia is something everyone has to be worried about.”
The police officer said the drug racket is “big” and police were trying to get to the root of the issue. “We are not targeting any group, organization or industry. We are concentrating on cracking the drug mafia. The seizure of drugs and arrest of suspects in the past couple of weeks speaks of our job and agenda,” he said.
There is speculation that a few top businessman, politicians and bureaucrats had helped party organiser Viren Khanna whenever he faced hurdles in hile organising parties. A source said, “Perhaps, the investigating agencies want to understand what sort of transactions took place between the party organisers and the bigwigs.”
The police commissioner refused to comment on pieces of evidences recovered from the arrested in the case. “Investigations are going on. We will come before the media at the right time, with answers for all the questions,” he said. Whether there’s political pressure on police in arresting celebrities, he said, “Please look at our work. See the arrests made and drugs recovered. You will get an answer.”

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Sagar Biswas

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