The Punjab Police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested two members of a module using drones for cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons through an international network, including Pakistan based smugglers with links to Khalistani operatives.

The accused, identified as Lakhbir Singh and Bachittar Singh, were arrested by Amritsar (rural) police through certain leads, with further investigations expected to track their associates, including four drug smugglers currently lodged in Amritsar Jail.

The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta disclosed one quadcopter drone with a full supporter stand and one transmitter, along with mini receiver and camera support, have been seized, along with one .32 bore revolver and one Scorpio as well as some live cartridges and drugs.

Giving details of the case, the DGP said Lakhbir, a resident of Chak Mishri Khan village in Amritsar, the main suspect, was nabbed from near Gurudwara Tahla Sahib, in Chattiwind area of Amritsar on Monday.

During investigations, Lakhbir Singh revealed that he had procured a Quadcopter Drone from Delhi about four months ago and the drone was currently at the residence of his associate Bachittar Singh at Guru Amardas Avenue, Amritsar.

Further investigations revealed Lakhbir was in close and frequent contact with four major drug smugglers of Ajnala, who are currently lodged in Amritsar jail.

A search in the prison led to the recovery of a touch smartphone from the possession of Lakhbir’s associate Surjit Masih, a drug smuggler.

According to the DGP, investigations so far show Lakhbir had established an extensive communication network with foreign smugglers and entities, and was in close and frequent contact with a notorious Pakistan based smuggler namely Chishti. Chisthi is also in touch with Pakistan based Khalistani operatives, and has been responsible for smuggling of significant cross–border consignments into India from Pakistan in the past.