NCB to take diplomatic route to bring back Indian couple jailed in Doha for smuggling drugs 'unintentionally'

Updated: 24 October, 2020 13:42 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

On July 6, 2019, two Indian passengers named Mohammad Shareeq and his wife Oniba Kauser Shakeel Ahmed were apprehended at Hamad International Airport in Doha by Qatar drug enforcement agencies and 4.1 kg Hasish was recovered from their luggage

Photo used for representational purpose
Photo used for representational purpose

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) will take the diplomatic route to bring back a couple from Qatar, who were arrested there on charges of smuggling drugs, after it was found that they ‘unintentionally’ carried the drugs in their baggage, which were put there by their relative in the garb of tobacco or 'zarda'. The relative had provided the couple with a honeymoon package.

On July 6, 2019, two Indian passengers named Mohammad Shareeq and his wife Oniba Kauser Shakeel Ahmed were apprehended at Hamad International Airport in Doha by Qatar drug enforcement agencies and 4.1 kg Hasish was recovered from their luggage.

Shareeq and Oniba were put to trial in Qatar by the prosecution agencies and the Supreme Judiciary Council of Qatar sentenced them to 10 years in jail and a fine of 300,000 riyal was slapped on each of them.

On September 27, 2019, Oniba’s father Shakeel Ahmed Qureshi filed a complaint with the NCB director general, alleging that his daughter and son-in-law, who were arrested for transporting contraband from India to Qatar, are innocent.

He alleged that his daughter and son-in-law were deceived by a woman named Tabassum Riyaz Qureshi, who is Shareeq’s aunt, and her associate Nizam Kara on the pretext of honeymoon package. “The contraband was concealed in their luggage bags provided by Tabussum and Nizam Kara - both residents of Mumbai,” Shakeel Ahmed Qureshi said.

Along with the complaint, Shakeel Ahmed Qureshi also provided relevant documents and a compact disc containing the audio recordings between Shareeq and Tabussum.

The NCB initiated a detailed enquiry into the matter and it was learnt that a well-organised drug trafficking syndicate was being run by Nizam Kara, Tabussum and others. A close surveillance was mounted against these drug syndicate members by NCB.

On December 22, 2019, the Nagpada police registered an FIR in a drug case. During the investigation, Nizam Kara and Tabuassam were arrested and 13 grams of cocaine was seized from their possession.

Working on reliable inputs, on February 26, the NCB sleuths intercepted a consignment of 1.474 kg of Charas in Chandigarh and arrested four persons - Ved Ram, Maheshwar, Shahnawaz Gulam Choratwala and Shabbana.

During the investigation, it was found out that this consignment was procured by Shahnawaz Gulam Choratwala and Shabbana at the behest of Nizam Kara and his wife Shaheeda Kara. All the financial arrangements for this drug consignment were done by Shaheeda Kara on the directions of her husband Nizam Kara.

On September 7, Nizam Kara was granted bail in the Mumbai case and after being released, he changed his residence. However, he was traced.

On October 14, during interrogation, Nizam Kara admitted that Shareeq and Oniba were sent to Qatar by him and his associate Tabussum. Nizam Kara said that Shareeq and Oniba were handed over the luggage bag purported to be containing zarda/tobacco by them, whereas Charas was concealed in the luggage, instead of zarda/tobacco.

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First Published: 24 October, 2020 13:37 IST

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