About three tonne of heroin from Afghanistan worth Rs 20,900 crore was seized at the Mundra Port in Gujarat on Monday. The consignment arrived in two containers -- one with nearly 2,000 kg of heroin and the other with the rest. The shipment originated from Afghanistan and came from the Bandar Abbas port in Iran, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said.
Marked as talcum powder, the consignment was addressed to Aashi Trading company, a firm located in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.
Two people have been arrested after the contraband was confiscated.
"Searches have been conducted in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chennai, Gandhidham, and Mandvi in Gujarat," the DRI said.
Investigations have revealed the involvement of Afghan nationals, according to the DRI.
Afghanistan, one of the world's biggest heroin producers, supplies nearly 80-90 percent of the global output, The Guardian reported.
Vijayawada firm connected to illegal smuglling
Aashi Trading company is registered under a woman’s name identified as Govindaraju Durga Purna Vaishali, a resident of Chennai. She had taken the GST registration for the firm in August 2020. The contact number of the firm belongs to Machavaram Sudhakar, Vaishali’s husband and a resident of Chennai. The building which houses the firm is owned by Vaishali's mother Govindaraju Taraka.
The Times of India has reported about Vaishali's arrest, while her husband Sudhakar is on the run.
Contraband for Delhi
The seized contraband was intended to reach Delhi, Vijayawada police commissioner B Sreenivasulu said.
"The smuggled heroin in the guise of talcum powder that landed at Mundra Port is intended to reach Delhi, but not to Vijayawada as alleged in some sections of media. So far, no activity except using the Vijayawada house address for obtaining licenses has come to notice. However, further inquiries are being conducted," he said. He added that Aashi Trading may have been used as a shell company for obtaining import and export licence for illegal smuggling.