The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday conducted raids at five locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) linked to the seizure of 2,998 kg drugs at Gujarat’s Mundra Port. This was the second in a series of raids carried out by the NIA on October 9 in connection with the case.
Earlier, the agency had conducted raids in Chennai, Coimbatore and Vijayawada at the premises of accused persons and suspects involved in the import of semi-processed Talc stones with contraband.
The case relates to the seizure of 2988.21 kg of narcotics substance (heroin) seized at Mundra Port in Gujarat having the involvement of foreign persons in procurement and delivery of the consignment. The narcotics drugs were found concealed in import consignment of ‘Semi-processed Talc stones’ originating from Afghanistan which had arrived from Bandar Abbas Port, Iran. The NIA on October 6 took over the Mundra Port drug haul case, in which 2,988.21 kg of heroin was seized at Mundra port by the Directorate of Revenue last month.
The NIA has not only invoked sections of IPC and the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act but also Section 17 (punishment for raising funds for the terrorist act) and Section 18 (punishment for conspiracy to commit terror acts) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The NIA FIR has mentioned Machavaram Sudhakaran, Durga PV Govindaraju and Rajkumar P as accused, among others.
Chennai-based Sudhakaran and Govindaraju own the company which was shipping the contraband. Govindaraju is the proprietor of Aashi Trading Company, registered in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada, that was importing the talc from a firm called Hasan Husain Ltd. Rajkumar, from Coimbatore, worked in Iran and “was coordinating with foreign suppliers”.
To date, nine people have been arrested in the case. Four among these are Afghans and one is an Uzbek national. The total seizure has gone up to 3,004 kg. All the arrests have been made by the DRI. Parallelly, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are also probing the case.
The September 16 seizure is said to be one of the single-biggest hauls in India, worth over Rs 21,000 crore.