Days after taking over the Mundra port drug haul case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at various locations across multiple states on Saturday, according to a statement.
The NIA conducted raids in Chennai, Coimbatore, Vijaywada, and at the premises of suspects involved in the import of semi-processed Talc stones with contraband. The searches were held under sections 120B IPC, section 8 (C), 23 of NDPS Act, and section 17, 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The case relates to the seizure of 2988.21 kgs of Narcotics substance (Heroin) seized at Mundra Port, Gujarat having the involvement of foreign persons in procurement and delivery of the consignment. The narcotics were found concealed in import consignment of ‘Semi-processed Talc stones’ originating from Afghanistan which had arrived from Bandar Abbas Port, Iran.
The heroin that came packed in in plastic pipes painted to resemble bamboos was alleged to be taken to Delhi, after which it was to be taken to other states, especially Punjab.
Various incriminating documents, articles, and other items were seized during Saturday's raids. Further investigation is underway.
A couple- Machavaram Sudhakar and his wife Govindaraju Durga Purna Vaisali, were arrested by the DRI in the case on September 17. The DRI also arrested Coimbatore resident Rajkumar P the following day, on September 18.
The role of Adani Group, which owns the Mundra port, had also come in the scanner. The group to clarify its stand had issued a statement. In the statement, the group had said, "The law empowers the Government of India's competent authorities such as the customs and the DRI to open, examine and seize the lawful cargo. No port operator across the country can examine a container. Their role is limited to running the port." The group had added, "We sincerely hope that this statement will put to rest the motivated malicious and false propaganda being run against the Adani Group."