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NIA arrests three more in Mundra port heroin seizure case

The probe revealed that five consignments were imported through the same network from Nov 2020 to Sep 2021

September 15, 2022 09:53 pm | Updated September 16, 2022 12:15 am IST - NEW DELHI

A container terminal at Mundra port in Gujarat. Image for representation.

A container terminal at Mundra port in Gujarat. Image for representation. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested three more accused in connection with the 3,000-kg heroin seizure case.

They have been identified as an Afghan national named Rah Matullah, Ishwinder Singh and Jasbir Singh. The NIA probe has revealed that five consignments of the heroin-laden goods were imported into India through the same network from November 2020 to September 2021.

“Three such consignments of the semi-processed Talc stones ultimately reached a warehouse in Neb Sarai, Delhi, which was rented by the absconding accused, Najibullah Khalid, in the name of another Afghan national, Noorzahi Abdul Salam. The heroin was segregated from the concealing goods in this warehouse by Afghani experts and then sent for distribution in the market through a network of drug suppliers and peddlers,” said the agency.

The consignment was then shifted to another warehouse taken on rent allegedly by Shaheen, also an Aghan national who is a close associate of Najibullah, through Jasbir and Ishwinder.

“Ishwinder Singh, a known drug distributor, was in direct touch with Javed, an Afghanistan-based accused and a key aide of prime accused Hassan Daad. On Javed’s directions, he and Jasbir Singh forged papers and rented a warehouse in Hamidpur village (Delhi), to where the semi-processed Talc was shifted from the Neb Sarai warehouse for further disposal,” said an official.

It is alleged that at Ishwinder’s instance, the agency arrested Rah Matullah with 3.9 kg of heroin. He had come to India about 10 months ago for handling the drug trade network run by Hassan Daad and Hussain Daad, who used to send the drug consignments from Afghanistan. The duo smuggled the heroin concealed in the apparently innocuous goods such as semi-processed Talc stones and Bituminous coal that were “imported” into India through different ports, including Mundra, Gujarat and Kolkata.

“The investigation has revealed a vast network of traffickers, facilitators/conduits, importers using shell companies, distributors, local wholesalers and retailers, who are operating an international drug smuggling racket from many countries, including Afghanistan, Iran and the United Arab Emirates,” said the official.

The DRI had seized the heroin consignment at the Mundra port in September last year. The NIA took over the case in October 2021. Based on its findings, it has so far arraigned 10 accused arrested and six wanted accused in the first charge sheet and nine in the supplementary charge sheet.

“The investigation has revealed a vast network of traffickers, facilitators/conduits, importers using shell companies, distributors, local wholesalers and retailers, who are operating an international drug smuggling racket from many countries, including Afghanistan, Iran and the United Arab Emirates”NIA official

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