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Mundra Port Heroin Haul Shocking


Eight people have been arrested in connection with the single largest heroin haul in India where authorities seized around 3,000 kg of the drug from Mundra port in Gujarat’s Kutch district.

On September 13, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had detained two containers for examination that had arrived from Kandhar in Afghanistan via Bandar Abbas, Iran, at Mundra Port.

The containers were declared to contain semi-processed talc stones. However detailed examination of the containers led to the seizure of 2,988 kg of heroin from the two containers.

The heroin was concealed in jumbo bags said to contain unprocessed talc powder. It was placed in the lower layers of the bags and topped with talc stones to avoid detection.

Immediate follow-up operations were carried out in New Delhi, Noida (UP), Chennai, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Mandvi, Gandhidham and Vijaywada. This led to the recovery of 16.1 kg of heroin from a Godown in Delhi, 10.2 kg powder suspected to be cocaine and 11 kg of substance suspected to be heroin from a residential place in Noida, a government press release informed.

The eight people arrested include four Afghan nationals, one Uzbek National and three Indian nationals. The arrested Indian Nationals include the holder of the Import Export Code (IEC), which was used to import the consignment. He was arrested from Chennai. Further investigations are in progress.

Reacting to the massive drug seizure, the Congress party has demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge.  Simultaneously, Adani Group, the operator of Mundra Port have issued a clarification saying that it is only the port operator and does not have the authority to check shipments arriving at the port.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera also questioned the government over why the position of a full-time NCB chief has been lying vacant for 18 months now and alleged that the NCB had been reduced to play “retail politics” with BJP’s rivals.

The value of the seized heroin per kilogram is about Rs 5-7 crore in the international market, an official said, reported news agency PTI.

The Enforcement Directorate is studying the details of the case and proceeding under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency has also sought details from DRI on the seizure which took place around September 15.

ED sources said the agency will investigate the people or syndicate behind this heroin smuggling, identify proceeds of crime, and may also attach assets of the accused if required.

Official sources said the consignment was imported by a trading company registered in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, as semi-processed talc stones. The narcotic is stated to be of Afghanistan origin and was shipped from Bandar Abbas Port in Iran to the Mundra Port.

“A total of 2988.21 kg of heroin — 1999.57 kg heroin from one container and 988.64 kg heroin from the second container — was seized under the provisions of the NDPS (Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act,” the PTI report quoted another source as saying.(With Inputs from PTI)

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