A special court on Saturday remanded an Afghan national and two others to 10-day custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the September 2021 seizure of heroin worth Rs 21,000 crore from Mundra port in Gujarat’s Kutch district. The trio were arrested by the NIA from Delhi and produced before the court of special judge Subhada Baxi in Ahmedabad, which sent them to 10-day remand as against 20-day custody sought by the probe agency, special public prosecutor Amit Nair said.
At least 24 accused have been arrested so far in connection with the drug haul, Nair said.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized 2,988.21 kg of heroin at Mundra Port on September 13 2021. The contraband was exported from Kandahar in Afghanistan, through the Bandar Abbas Port of Iran, was concealed as ”semi-processed talc stones”. The case was handed over to the NIA, which found that a similar consignment was shipped in June 2021 through the port involving the same supplier and receiver.
The June consignment was received and stored in a warehouse in Delhi for further distribution in Delhi and Punjab. The two offences were connected and are being investigated together. The three accused, Ishwinder Singh, Jasbir Singh, and Rahmatullah, were produced in court on Saturday.
Jasbir was arrested in Delhi by the NIA for allegedly renting a warehouse to store semi-processed talc. He is a heroin peddler, Nair said. When interrogated, Jasbir alleged that Ishwinder had supplied him with the suspected narcotics to be stored in the rented warehouse. Ishwinder’s questioning led to the arrest of Rahmatullah who was found in possession of 3 kg of the drug at his residence, Nair said.
The NIA had recently filed a chargesheet against 16 people, including 11 Afghan nationals and an Iranian citizen, six of whom were shown as wanted. They were charged under sections of the Indian Penal Code, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the official said.