The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has seized drugs worth an estimated Rs 21,000 crore from two containers at Gujarat’s Mundra Port, News18 reported on Tuesday.
The drugs are reportedly from Afghanistan, where the Taliban took power last month.
The agency seized nearly three tonnes of heroin at the port, making it one of India’s biggest such hauls till now, according to Al-Jazeera.
The DRI had received specific intelligence that a consignment imported by a Vijaywada-based company was suspected to contain narcotic drugs, News18 quoted an intelligence note as saying. The consignment had been declared as containing semi-processed talc stones and was reportedly shipped from Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port.
Officials of the agency then seized the consignment under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Forensic tests reportedly confirmed the presence of heroin.
The DRI has arrested a couple from Chennai – identified as Sudhakar and Vaishali – in connection with the case, NDTV reported. Both of them were produced before a special court in Gujarat and remanded to DRI custody for 10 days, the channel quoted Special Public Prosecutor Kalpesh Goswami as saying.
The agency has also reportedly carried out searches in Ahmedabad, Chennai and Delhi in connection with the case. It is also reportedly investigating if some Afghans were involved in the case.
The Enforcement Directorate has launched a money laundering investigation into the seizure, according to PTI. Officials from the agency reportedly said that they will investigate the people or syndicate behind the smuggling and identify the proceeds of crime.
The agency may attach the assets of the accused if needed, the official said.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera criticised the Centre after the drug haul, and asked how such a drug syndicate was operating “under the nose” of the government, PTI reported.
Khera asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, both of whom hail from Gujarat, were not able to break the syndicate. He also asked why the post of a full-time chief of Narcotics Control Bureau had been lying vacant for the past 18 months.
In a tweet, the Congress said that the reality of the “Gujarat model” was coming to the fore. “The Gujarat model has become a haven for theft and drugs,” the party said. “The state must be prevented from becoming a haven for theft and drugs, otherwise our young generation will fall prey to narcotics.”