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Two more Afghan nationals held in 3,000-kg heroin seizure case

This is stated to be the single largest seizure of heroin in India till now and even one of the biggest across the globe. File.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Two more Afghan nationals have been held during the ongoing pan-India operation being carried out by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in connection with the seizure of about 3,000 kg heroin at the Mundra port in Gujarat.

While the DRI searches are under way, the Enforcement Directorate is likely to take up a money-laundering probe against the accused persons as the offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act come under its purview.

The international value of the seized contraband is being determined with the help of experts.

“The value is estimated on the basis of the purity percentage of the heroin,” said an official. According to the Afghanistan Drug Price Monitoring (monthly report) in April 2021, one kg heroin is worth a little over $2,000 in Afghanistan. In 2019, an official said, the per kg price in India ranged from $7,106 to $21,317 as per one estimate.

The DRI had earlier arrested five persons, including two Afghan nationals, and conducted searches at a warehouse in Delhi’s Alipur and Noida. It is learnt that some more arrests are likely soon.

Investigations have so far revealed that the contraband had been sent from Afghanistan via the Bandar Abbas port in Iran, which has emerged as one of the major sea routes taken by drug trafficking syndicates. Heroin consignments are also being sent to different destinations through Chabahar in Iran from Pakistan’s Gwadar.

Large seizures have been made by the agencies in India and Sri Lanka in the past several months, showing a definite increase in the use of maritime routes by the criminals gangs.

In the present case, the consignment — declared as semi-processed talc stones — had been sent under the pretext of exports by a Kandahar-based company named Hassan Hussain Limited to Aashi Trading Company, which is based in Vijayawada linked to a couple from Chennai, who have also been arrested.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 11:19:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ed-launches-money-laundering-probe-in-mundra-port-record-heroin-seizure-case/article36592881.ece

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