House of Chennai-based couple arrested in connection with Mundra port heroin case cordoned off

The authorities have cordoned off the house of a couple from Vijayawada, who were recently arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in connection with seizure of 3,000 kg of heroin at Mundra port in Gujarat, sources said.

The couple — Machavaram Sudhakar and wife Govindaraju Durga Purna Vaisali — were living at Govardhanagiri Apartments on V.O.C. Street in Kolapakkam and were taken into custody by the DRI officials a fortnight ago. The couple lived there as tenants with their two children.

The police said the raid was conducted at the house and the subsequent arrest happened without their knowledge. In its continued crackdown on smuggling of heroin into India, the DRI detained two containers that had arrived at Mundra port from Kandahar, Afghanistan, via Bandar Abbas, Iran, on September 13. Further scrutiny of the containers led to the seizure of 2,988 kg of heroin from them on September 17 and 19.

Immediate follow-up operations were carried out in New Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Mandvi, Gandhidham and Vijayawada. This led to recovery of 16.1 kg of heroin from a godown in Delhi, 10.2 kg of powder suspected to be cocaine and 11 kg of a substance suspected to be heroin from a residential place in Noida.

A total of eight persons, including four Afghan nationals, one Uzbek national and three Indian nationals, have been arrested in the case so far. The arrested Indian nationals include the holder of the Import Export Code (IEC), which was used to import the consignment. Sudhakar and Vaisali were among the eight.

The consignment was imported by a firm registered in Vaisali’s name called Aashi Trading Company in Vijayawada. The police said Sudhakar had lost his job during the lockdown and started the firm. Sources said they might have lent their name and the Import Export Code licence only to earn a few thousand rupees as commission.

On September, 26, Additional District Court, Bhuj-Kachch remanded Rajkumar P., a Coimbatore resident, the key accused, who used WhatsApp to broker the deal between the Indian company and an Iranian exporter.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 1:32:56 PM |

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