The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday, 14 March, informed a Gujarat court that those involved in the Mundra drugs case from September 2021 have links with terror groups based in Pakistan.
In September last year, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized a huge consignment of close to 3,000 kg of heroin, worth over Rs 21,000 crore from Gujarat's Mundra port.
The NIA had on Monday charge sheeted 16 persons in the case. Of the 16, 11 are Afghan nationals, one is an Iranian, and the remaining four belong to India. While 10 of the 16 charge sheeted persons have been arrested, 6 are absconding, the NIA said in a press statement.
All of them have been charged for offences punishable under sections 120B, 466, 471 of the IPC, sections 8(c), 21(c), 23(c) & 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, and sections 17, 18 & 20 of UA (P) Act.
As per an Indian Express report, the 10 arrested accused are Machavaram Sudhakar, Durga Purna Govindaraju Vaishali, Sobhan Aryanfar, Rajkumar Perumal, Alokozai Mohammad Khan, Pradeep Kumar, Mohammad Khan Akhlaqi, Mohammad Hussaini, Fardin Amery, and Murtaza Hakimi.
Mohammad Hussain Dad, Mohammed Hassan, Najibullah Khan Khalid, Esmat Ullah Honari, Abdul Hadi Alizada, and Javad Najafi are still on the run.
"Links of the accused Mohammad Hasan Hussain Dad and Mohammad Hasan Dad and other co-conspirators have also emerged with proscribed terror organisations based in Pakistan. The proceeds of drugs trafficking were channelled back to foreign entities through hawala channels at the behest of Pak based terror outfits for use in anti-India activities," the NIA noted.
The case relates to seizure of 2,988.21 kg of narcotic substance (heroin) at Mundra Port on 13 September 2021. The consignment, the NIA said, was being imported by "M/s Aashi Trading Company and exported by M/s Hasan Hussain Ltd. Kandahar, Afghanistan through Bandar Abbas Port of Iran. The narcotics were found concealed in import consignment of 'Semi-processed Talc stones' originating from Afghanistan."
During investigation it was established that the smuggling of narcotics into India was carried out earlier as well by the same set of accused persons. These included the offences registered by DRI Delhi zonal unit wherein 16.105 kg of heroin was seized from a warehouse in Delhi.
In Hoshiarpur, Punjab, 20.250 kg of heroin was seized. These two offences were also subsumed in the instant case as connected offences, NIA said.
"Accused Mohammad Hussain Dad and Mohammad Hasan Dad of Hasan Hussain Ltd, Kandahar, Afghanistan and accused M Sudhakar, DP Vaishali and Rajkumar Perumal of Aashi Trading Company along with others had entered into criminal conspiracy to smuggle huge quantity of narcotics to India by concealing in consignments of semi processed talc," said NIA in its statement.
The consignment sent in September, 2021 was intercepted whereas earlier consignments were received and stored in a warehouse in Delhi for further distribution in Delhi and Punjab.
Further investigation in the case is underway.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and ANI)