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NIA takes over case of 3,000-kg heroin seizure at Gujarat's Mundra port

A worker sits on a ship carrying containers at Mundra Port in Gujarat. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the case pertaining to the seizure of about 3,000 kg heroin by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at the Mundra Port in Gujarat last month, following a directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The NIA has invoked various provisions of the IPC, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA] against accused Machavaram Sudhakar, Durga P.V. Govindaraju, Rajkumar P. and others.

The UAPA Sections pertain to the offences of funding terrorist act and being part of terrorist conspiracy. “Whoever raises funds for the purpose of committing a terrorist act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine,” says Section 17 of the Act.

According to Section 18, “Whoever conspires or attempts to commit, or advocates, abets, advises or incites or knowingly facilitates the commission of a terrorist act, or any act preparatory to the commission of a terrorist act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

The DRI had earlier arrested the three accused apart from six Afghan nationals and an Uzbek woman. A possible role of Pakistan-based elements in the international drug trafficking racket is also being examined by the agency.

The DRI probe indicated that the contraband — shown as a consignment of semi-processed talc stones being exported by Kandahar-based company named Hassan Hussain Limited — had originated from Afghanistan and taken to the Bandar Abbas port in Iran by land route, to be shipped to India.

Aashi Trading Company in Vijayawada, allegedly linked to Machavaram Sudhakar and Durga P.V. Govindaraju, had been declared as the importer. The couple were living in Chennai for the past several years.

Initial findings suggested that the consignment was meant to be taken to Delhi. However, the probe agencies are yet to determine the identities of the ultimate intended recipients.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 8:32:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nia-takes-over-probe-into-seizure-of-2988-kg-heroin-at-mundra-port-in-gujarat/article36865229.ece

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