NIA to probe Mundra port heroin case
Sensing the terror angle and role of the international drug racket, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday took over the case of seizure of around 3000 Kg of narcotics at Mundra Port, Gujarat. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) a few weeks back seized 2988.21 kg of heroin from containers from the private port in Mundra, operated by Adani Group. This is considered the largest seizure of narcotics in India.
“In pursuance to MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) order, the NIA has taken up the investigation of DRI Case No. DRI/AZU/GRU/NDPS-01/2021 dated 13.09.2021 as NIA Case No. RC-26/2021/NIA/DLI under section 120-B IPC (criminal conspiracy), section 8 (C), 23 of NDPS (Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances) Act, and section 17, 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 against accused Machavaram Sudhakaran, Durga PV Govindaraju, Rajkumar P and others,” the NIA said in a statement.
The investigators say the three persons now charged as accused in the NIA and DRI preliminary reports are just conduits and there is a big mafia operating behind them.
Narcotics substance (Heroin) seized at Mundra Port disguised as a consignment of ‘semi-processed talc stones’ originating from Afghanistan which had arrived from Bandar Abbas Port, Iran. The 3000-kilogram narcotics containers were imported in the name of Machavaram Sudhakaran, Durga PV Govindaraju, Rajkumar P, who recently obtained an import license. Though their firm is registered in Chennai address, persons belong to Vizahkapattanam. The value of the narcotic material (heroine) which is the largest seizure in India is valued at more than Rs.21,000 crore in the international market.
Intelligence agencies indicate that this heroin consignment exported from Bandar Abbas Port, Iran is originated from Afghanistan’s Taliban warlords and pointing fingers at terror financing-related activity. “That is why NIA is entrusted with the probe,” said a senior officer. The investigators say the three persons now charged as accused in the NIA and DRI preliminary reports are just conduits and there is a big mafia operating behind them.
Pursuant to the registration of the case, requisite actions as per law for the expeditious investigation of the case have been initiated. The move comes as the DRI probe so far has pointed to terror funding through narco trade which could have a bearing on national security, said the official from the probe agency.
There are indications that emerged in the ongoing probes that the seized narcotic material was meant for the international market and the Mundra port was only a transit point and many agencies feel the consignment’s major portion was meant for European markets. It is widely believed that Indian agencies were alerted by the CIA of the transport of narcotics transport originating from Afghanistan via Iran ports to India and further movements meant to European destinations.
Soon after the registration of the case, the NIA tweeted :
NIA takes over case of seizure of 2988.21 kgs of narcotics at Mundra Port, Gujarat pic.twitter.com/omr6xe3jaR
— NIA India (@NIA_India) October 6, 2021
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