Massive heroin shipment seized at Indian port Mundra Port, Gujarat, India (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIA’S anti-smuggling intelligence officials have seized almost three tonnes of heroin, reportedly worth around £1.9billion, in a major bust at Mundra Port in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
Officials told BBC that forensic testing was underway to determine the exact value of the seized drugs. According to one statement, two persons have been arrested in connection to the case while several are being probed.
The containers of drugs were allegedly imported from Afghanistan to the Gujarat port by Ashi Trading Firm which is based in Vijayawada in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. BBC reported that the shipment was declared as talc stones in Afghanistan and it was sent to the Indian port from Iran.
According to the Indian Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), it received intelligence input that a shipment from Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port was suspected to carry narcotics.
“When our officers detained the consignment and examined it, suspected narcotic drugs were recovered from the containers and the presence of heroin was confirmed,” a statement from DRI said.
Officials added that search operations were carried out in various cities across India, including national capital Delhi, Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Chennai in the southernmost state of Tamil Nadu.
“Investigations conducted so far have also revealed the involvement of Afghan nationals, who are under investigation,” the agency said.
Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Its opium harvest accounts for more than 80 per cent of the world’s supply.