NIA takes over Mundra drug haul case, invokes terror costs

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday took over the Mundra Port drug haul case, wherein 2,988.21 kg of heroin was seized at Mundra port, Gujarat, by the Directorate of Revenue final month.

The Narcotics have been disguised as consignment of ‘semi-processed talc stones’ originating from Afghanistan. The consignment had arrived from Bandar Abbas Port, Iran.

The NIA on Wednesday mentioned it had registered a case within the matter following an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The NIA has not solely invoked sections of IPC and the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act but additionally Section 17 (punishment for elevating funds for terrorist act) and Section 18 (punishment for conspiracy to commit terror acts) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

“Given that the drugs originated from Afghanistan where the Taliban are ruling now, there is an angle of narco-terrorism linked to the whole affair. The case has international ramifications and that is why it has been given to NIA,” a home ministry official mentioned.

The NIA FIR has talked about Machavaram Sudhakaran, Durga PV Govindaraju and Rajkumar P as accused, amongst others.

“Pursuant to registration of the case, requisite actions as per law for expeditious investigation of case have been initiated,” NIA mentioned in an announcement.

Chennai-based Sudhakaran and Govindaraju personal the corporate which was delivery the contraband. Govindaraju is the proprietor of M/s Aashi Trading Company, registered in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada, that was importing the talc from a agency known as M/s Hasan Husain Ltd.

Rajkumar, from Coimbatore, labored in Iran and “was co-ordinating with foreign suppliers”.

Till date, 9 folks have been arrested within the case. Four amongst these are Afghans and one is an Uzbek nationwide. The complete seizure has gone as much as 3,004 kg, as per a launch from the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

All the arrests have been made by the DRI. Parallelly, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate are additionally probing the case.

The September 16 seizure is claimed to be one the single-biggest hauls in India, price over Rs 21,000 crore.

A particular court docket for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in Gujarat just lately additionally directed DRI to analyze if the “Mundra Adani Port, its management and its authority has gained any benefits” from the import of the consignment.

The court docket had requested the DRI to analyze “the modalities and the process for scanning and checking of such container and consignment at foreign nations and at Mundra port when said consignment/container was sent/imported from foreign nation to India and landed at Mundra Adani Port”.

The choose additionally mentioned the heroin seizure by the DRI has raised “many issues” that must be investigated, together with why the consignment was “registered and landed at Mundra Adani Port, Gujarat, which is far from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh”, that’s surrounded by different ports just like the Chennai port.

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