Home / News / India /  Mundra port heroin case: DRI arrests 8, including 4 Afghans

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Wednesday arrested 8 people, including four Afghan nationals, one Uzbek National and three 3 Indian nationals in connection with the recent seizure of a record nearly 3,000 kg heroin from two containers at the Mundra port in Gujarat. 

The heroin was concealed in jumbo bags said to contain unprocessed talc powder. The heroin was placed in the lower layers of the bags. The heroin was then topped with Talc stones to avoid detection. Resultantly, the heroin had to be painstakingly separated from the Talc Stones.

“Immediate follow-up operations were carried out in New Delhi, Noida (UP), Chennai, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Mandvi, Gandhidham and Vijaywada. This led to recovery of 16.1 kgs of heroin from a Godown in Delhi, 10.2 kgs powder suspected to be cocaine and 11 kgs of substance suspected to be heroin from a residential place in Noida," DRI said ina statement. 

The arrested Indian Nationals include the holder of the Import Export Code (IEC), which was used to import the consignment. He was arrested from Chennai. Investigations are in progress, it further added. 

Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also initiated a money-laundering probe into the drug seizure.

The federal agency is studying the details of the case and proceeding forward under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

The agency had also sought the complaint filed by the DRI while unearthing the smuggling of the narcotic.

The case pertains to the DRI, an enforcement agency under the Union Finance Ministry like the ED, seizing a total of 2,988.21 kg Afghan heroin from the Mundra port in the Kutch district around September 15.

The consignment was estimated to be worth 21,000 crore as officials said the international market value of the seized heroin per kilogram was about 5-7 crore.

This is stated to be the single largest seizure of heroin in India till now and even one of the biggest across the globe.

A senior Union Home Ministry official said the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the apex federal anti-drugs agency, may also probe the case once wider ramifications emerge.

As the DRI is already an empowered agency to enforce the NDPS like the NCB, the latter agency may not be required to come into the case immediately, he said.

ED sources said the agency, after filing the PMLA case, will investigate the people or syndicate behind this heroin smuggling, identify proceeds of crime and may also attach assets of the accused, if required, during the course of probe.

The consignment is stated by official sources to have been imported by a trading company registered in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, as semi-processed talc stones.

With PTI inputs

 

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