NIA searches multiple locations in connection with Mundra Adani port drug haul case

NIA searches multiple locations in connection with Mundra Adani port drug haul case

India News

“Searches were conducted in Chennai, Coimbatore, Vijaywada at the premises of the accused/suspects… During the searches, various incriminating documents, articles and other items have been seized,” the NIA said in a statement.

The case is related to the seizure of 2,988.21 kg of heroin by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at the Mundra Port in Gujarat on September 16. The case was transferred to the NIA on October 6.

The heroin was found in two containers, which were declared to be carrying “semi-processed talc stones”, that landed at the Mundra Port. The containers came from Afghanistan via Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port.

The NIA said it had registered a case in the matter following an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Besides sections of the IPC and the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the NIA has also invoked Section 17 (Punishment for Raising Funds for Terrorist Act) and Section 18 (Punishment for Conspiracy to Commit Terror Acts) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The NIA FIR has named Machavaram Sudhakaran, Durga P V Govindaraju and Rajkumar P as accused, among others. “Pursuant to registration of the case, requisite actions as per law for expeditious investigation of the case have been initiated,” the NIA said in a statement.

Sudhakaran and Govindaraju, a Chennai-based couple, own the company which was shipping the contraband. Govindaraju is the proprietor of the firm, M/s Aashi Trading Company, which is registered in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada, that was importing the talc from a company called M/s Hasan Husain Ltd. Rajkumar, from Coimbatore, worked in Iran and was allegedly “coordinating with foreign suppliers”.

Till date, nine people have been arrested in the case, including four Afghans and a Uzbek national, according to a release issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB). All the arrests have been made by the DRI. The Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate are also probing the case.

Last month, a special NDPS court in Gujarat had directed the DRI to investigate if the “Mundra Adani Port, its management and its authority gained any benefits” from the import of the consignment.

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