The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday took over the investigation into the drug haul at Gujarat’s Mundra port that took place in September, The Indian Express reported. The agency has booked the accused persons under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
On September 21, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had seized nearly three tonnes of heroin worth Rs 21,000 crore. The drug that was disguised as a consignment of semi-processed talc stones had arrived from Afghanistan through Iran’s Bandar Abbas port.
A total of eight people – four Afghan, one Uzbek and three Indian persons – have been arrested in the case, the Ministry of Finance had said on September 22.
On Wednesday, the National Investigation Agency said that it had registered a case based on an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In its first information report, the National Investigation Agency mentioned that the three Indians – Chennai-based entrepreneurs Machavaram Sudhakaran, Durga PV Govindaraju and Rajkumar – were involved in imports.
Apart from sections Along with 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the accused have also been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
The UAPA sections provide punishment for raising funds for terrorist act and punishment for conspiracy to commit terror acts.
The Enforcement Directorate has also launched a money laundering investigation into the seizure, according to PTI. Officials from the agency said that they will investigate the people or syndicate behind the smuggling and identify the proceeds of crime.
Last week, a special court for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in Gujarat had requested the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to investigate if the management at Mundra Adani Port had gained any profits while importing the drug consignment from Afghanistan, The Indian Express reported.
The court had also sought to know “the modalities and the process for scanning and checking of such containers and consignment at foreign nations and at Mundra Port”.
The judge had also wanted to know the reason behind the consignment’s arrival at the Mundra Port in September despite it being “far from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh”, from where the imports were ordered.