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Nearly 3,000 kg heroin seized at Mundra port in Gujarat

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

In what is said to be one of the largest ever seizures in the world, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has impounded two containers carrying about 2,988.22kg of heroin at Mundra port in Gujarat. Two persons have been arrested and the role of some Afghan nationals is also being investigated.

The breakthrough came after the agency received a specific tip-off about a consignment imported by Aashi Trading Company, located in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, declared as semi-processed Talc stones originating from Afghanistan and shipped from Bandar Abbas Port in Iran to Mundra Port.

 

The DRI suspected that the consignment contained narcotic drugs, being supplied from Afghanistan. Based on the inputs, the agency intercepted the two containers. In the presence of experts from the Gandhinagar-based Forensic Science Laboratory, the containers were searched. The experts checked the contents and confirmed the presence of heroin, according to an agency source.

While 1,999.58 kg was recovered from the first container, 988.64 kg of the stuff was found in second container, taking the total to about 2,988.22 kgs. The huge contraband was seized under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Subsequently, searches are being conducted in Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Gandhidham and Mandvi in Gujarat. “Two persons have been arrested and a number of persons and entities are under investigation. The probe conducted so far has also revealed the involvement of Afghan nationals, who are under the scanner,” said the official, adding that it was probably the largest ever seizure of heroin in the world.

In July, the Directorate had seized about 300 kg of heroin from some containers at Nhava Sheva Port in Navi Mumbai. The consignment had also originated from Bandar Abbas port in Iran. It was being smuggled in the garb of talcum powder.

At the same port, the agency had seized 191 kg of heroin in August 2020 and arrested three private persons named Suresh Bhatia, Mohammed Nauman and Mahendra Nigam, apart from two Customs house agents, Meenanath Bodake and Kondibhau Gunjal. That consignment had been routed through Chabahar in Iran from Pakistan's Gwadar.

The cargo was declared as an Ayurvedic product, mulethi (licorice), and the drugs was concealed in plastic pipes painted to resemble bamboos. The importer company was identified as Sarvim Exports, which was located at Derawal Nagar in Delhi.


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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 1:28:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nearly-3000-kg-heroin-seized-at-mundra-port-in-gujarat/article36553910.ece

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