Ahmedabad, Oct 15 (IANS) Ahmedabad Cybercrime Police has arrested a Russian national, Kolesnikov Vasilii, for alleged visa forgery and his suspected involvement in drug trafficking operations spanning several major Indian cities, an official said.
The arrest was made on October 13, the officials said.
The arrest comes as a result of an ongoing investigation into an international drug racket, shedding light on Kolesnikov’s counterfeit documents and activities within the country.
Kolesnikov, originally hailing from Russia, had been residing in Goa since his arrival on a tourist visa in 2014.
However, the tourist visa had lapsed in 2020, raising questions about his continued stay in the country.
Apart from his alleged involvement in the drug trade and visa forgery, Kolesnikov’s extended stay in India beyond the expiration of his visa has raised suspicions of his engagement in other illicit activities.
In 2021, the Worli police in Mumbai had registered an offence against him for unlawfully entering and photographing restricted areas in the city.
The arrest of Kolesnikov took place in Manali, where he was found in possession of three fraudulent Aadhar cards and four counterfeit passports containing e-visas.
However, no narcotics substances were recovered in his possession at the time of the arrest.
Consequently, he has been charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to forgery.
The arrest follows a recent crackdown by the police on an international drug syndicate that had been clandestinely dispatching narcotics through courier services, concealing them within books and toys, and sending them to various destinations, including Canada, US and Thailand.
This operation led to the seizure of cocaine valued at Rs 2.31 lakh weighing 2.31 gm, and high-quality marijuana with an estimated worth of Rs 46 lakh weighing 5.95 kg.
During the course of the investigation into this drug racket, law enforcement officials traced their steps to Surat, a city recently visited by Kolesnikov.
The Russian national is alleged to have played a pivotal role in receiving drug shipments from foreign post offices in several Indian cities, including Surat, Jaipur, Cochin and Mumbai.
These shipments were reportedly dispatched by a Russian drug cartel and contained cocaine and hybrid marijuana.