After almost completing the first phase of investigation in the 308-kg ketamine drug haul case, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is set to request the foreign ministry to revoke the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards of the two prime accused, both British nationals.
Indiatoday.in was first to report that the British nationals — Jonathan Thorn and John Brecken — are OCI cardholders. While Thorn is married to a Manipuri woman, Brecken’s wife is a Punjabi. Thorn claims to be divorced and has two kids living in the UK. Sources claim their wives were also involved in the drug trade and were used to courier the drugs.
DRI has charged both with manufacturing and supplying of banned ketamine (also known as a date-rape drug) in the domestic and international market.
Last week, the DRI raided 14 homes and factories in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa and seized 308 kg of ketamine and 2,000 kg of raw materials. At the heart of this drug business is a factory in North Goa’s Pissurlem village, owned by Vasudev Parab, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader.
“This is a very serious case. It is possible that other foreigners holding OCI cards may be involved,” a DRI official said.
By law an OCI card allows a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely. The cardholder is allowed multi-entry and multi-purpose lifelong visa to visit India.
Meanwhile, the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has issued a show cause notice to Vasudev Parab, BJP’s general secretary for North Goa district. It was Parab’s factory in Goa which was raided by the DRI officials in the ketamine drug haul case.
Goan lawmaker Glenn Ticlo, chairman of GIDC confirmed to Indiatoday.in that the notice has been issued against Parab, asking him why his industrial plot should not be taken back. Parab has been given seven days to reply to the notice.
On Monday, the DRI recorded the statement of Parab at its Mumbai office. “Parab claimed that he was unaware of the activities taking place inside the factory, which we are not taking at face value. However, at present, we have no crucial evidence against Parab,” the DRI official told Indiatoday.in.
Soon after his questioning, the DRI team communicated with Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) to take required action against BJP’s leader Vasudev Parab.
According to GIDC rules, entrepreneurs who have been allotted government plots on concessional rates for industrial activity cannot lease it out on rent to third parties. Violators can be penalized. Parab was earning Rs 75,000 per month (for the past six months) from the accused.