LAHORE: The Organised Crime Unit (OCU) of Lahore police has busted an international gang, including four members of the same family, that was supplying narcotics and party drugs to the upper class youth.

The ‘Jordan Gang,’ including four members of the same family, was operating from Central Asia, Mexico, Canada, USA and some other countries and supplying highly expensive drugs in Lahore and Multan, police claimed. There were also reports that the drugs were supplied to select students of universities and some other academic institutes.

OCU DIG Imran Kishwar told Dawn that after an extensive two-month intelligence gathering and covert operation, the unit busted the gang. He said the elusive gang leader, Ayub Khan alias Jordan, was operating secretly and nobody knew his true identity.

Headed by SP Furqan Bilal, a special team of the OCU, formerly Crime Investigation Agency (CIA), unearthed the network of drug traffickers. The team took the lead after some members of the Jordan Gang arrived in Pakistan.

The gang had four members of same family; huge cache of narcotics recovered

The OCU managed to infiltrate Jordan’s network through a plan. Multiple purchases were made to gain the trust of Jordan’s associates, leading to crucial breakthroughs in investigation, the police officer said.

Efforts of police culminated in a coordinated overnight raid on three locations in Phase VI of the DHA, resulting in the arrest of key members of the gang including Muhammad Ali, Uzair, Muhammad Nadeem, Samina Iftikhar and Fatima Zahra. However, Ayub Jordan is still at large as he is operating from Thailand.

Deals were offered to students and other citizens through fake IDs on social media and the gang was operating many bank accounts in the name of a woman suspect, Samina Iftikhar, and her son Uzair to obtain money. Ayub alias Jordan and Muhammad Ali are her two other sons. So far, nearly a dozen bank accounts in the names of the members of the gang have been traced. Some officials of the police and the General Post Office (GPO) were a part of marketing and supply networks of the ‘gang’, DIG Kishwar revealed.

The DIG said Ayub Khan alis Jordan was living in Thailand along with his other family members and Muhammad Ali and Uzair were his brothers. He added that Jordan was operating the network for the last 12 years to smuggle drugs into Pakistan from Canada, the USA and Mexico.

Investigation revealed that the gang had purchased three villas in the DHA with money generated through drug trafficking. The family was allegedly using these villas to store and supply drugs in the provincial capital and other cities.

During the raid, police seized a huge cache of expensive drugs, a police officer said and added that the seized drugs included 110kg weed, 130 Vapes, 4kg cannabis, 4kg ice, 130g cocaine, 5,500 packing materials, 9 CBD vapes, 9kg cannabis chocolates, 18 Vovo Packwoods, 21 element rolling tips, 11 nectar collector sets and 17 Gorilla Glues.

The OCU also briefed Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz about the racket shortly after the breakthrough.

Additionally, DIG Kishwar said, the capture of nine armed guards showed the gang’s violent tendencies and organised structure.

Mr Kishwar said the modus operandi employed by the drug traffickers was a sophisticated blend of international and domestic channels for drug procurement and distribution.

“Internationally, illicit substances were smuggled through reputable courier services with the complicity of corrupt officials while on the domestic front, the syndicate utilised online platforms and covert groups to facilitate the circulation of drugs within the country,” the DIG said.

A comprehensive investigation is underway to trace the supply chain down to lower-level distributors and end-users. Further probe would shed light on deeper connections and activities of the cartel, he said.

About the price of the seized drugs, CIA SP Furqan Bilal said the cost of 500 puffs of a drug recovered from the gang was Rs70,000.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2024

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