Mumbai: A special Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act court on Monday convicted IPS officer Saji Mohan for illegally possessing 37 kilos of heroin in 2009 and sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment. His co-accused Haryana constable Rajesh Kumar Kataria was also found guilty and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
In January 2009, Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had recovered 12 packets of heroin weighing 12 kilograms of pure heroin from Mohan allegedly smuggled from across the border via Jammu and Kashmir.
Mohan was the zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Chandigarh, where he was allegedly involved in pilferage of seized narcotics by the agency and also had links with several major drug kingpins.
The duo was charged with criminal conspiracy and also under the provisions of the NDPS Act. During the trial, the prosecution had examined 40 witnesses and also relied on four telephonic conversations between Mohan and members of a drug cartel.
During investigation, it was found that Mohan had mixed some lime and other material to originally seized contraband stored in the Malkhana of Chandigarh NCB. After he made a disclosure, an additional 25 kilos of drugs were found.
According to the ATS, Mohan, during his tenure as the NCB zonal director at Chandigarh, would steal more than 50 per cent of the drugs consignments seized by the bureau. The IPS officer would then smuggle the contraband to drug peddlers in various cities, including Mumbai. Kataria, as Mohan’s driver, was part of the drug smuggling activity.
A veterinary doctor by education, Saji Mohan is the son of an Army officer who has been awarded President’s Gallantry medal and had also served in the United Nations for a brief period with the peacekeeping forces.