The former ADC chairman Lhukhosei Zou was arrested in connection with multi-crore drug trade case in 2018 Credit: Representational image

Imphal: Lhukhosei Zou, the former Chandel Autonomous District Council (ADC) chairman charged in an alleged multi-crore drug seizure case in Manipur, has been acquitted along with six others by a Special Court on Thursday.

Two other accused, namely Thangminlin Zou, 30, and Tung Khan Mung Zou, 19, were convicted under Section 29 read with Section 21(c)/22(c) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The court has fixed December 21 for their sentence hearing.

The order mentioned that the prosecution could prove that the seizing officer had seized 80,000 numbers of WY tablets (containing huge amount of methamphetamine) and 2,677 kg of Heroin powder from the unauthorised possession of the accused No.4 Thangminlun Zou with the active participation, abetment and conspiracy with the accused No.2 Tung Khan Mung Zou @Mung @ Aric. Hence, both the accused shall face punishment under section 21(c)/22(c) read with section 29 of the ND PS Act,1985.

Meanwhile, the order pronounced by Judge W Tonen Meitei of ND & PS special court stated that the prosecution of the seven others, including the former ADC chairman, has totally failed to prove the charges levelled against them.

The court also orders that 51-year-old Zou alias Shesei Zou of Phaicham Veng, Chandel, who is currently lodged at Sajiwa Central Jail, shall be released from the prison immediately after completion of the formalities of the Jail authorities.

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All seized articles in connection with the present case must be handed over from whom it was seized except the contraband drugs and the demonetised money of Rs 95,000, the court said.

The exhibited MOs and the unproduced drugs seized in connection with the present case be disposed of according to law after the lapse of the appeal period. In this regard, the Spl PP shall take care of.

On June 20, 2018, Lhukhosei Zou was arrested along with seven others by a team of Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) along with drugs worth over Rs 27 crore in the international market and 28 kg of amphetamine tablets along with a large amount of hard cash, including demonetised notes from his official residence at Lamphel in Imphal West district.

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