The container was imported from Afghanistan via Iran’s Chabahar port
Mumbai, Oct 10
Specific intelligence was received by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Mumbai Zonal Unit that a consignment imported vide Container No. PARU2252260 is likely to contain contraband covered under NDPS Act, 1985. The said container had been imported from Kandahar in the name of an importer having address of Masjid Bundar, Mumbai. It had arrived via Chabahar port in Iran.
Based upon the aforesaid intelligence the said Container was located at EFC Logistics India Pvt. Ltd CFS of Nhava Sheva port and examination was carried out by a team of DRI Mumbai Officers on 05.10.2021. The goods were declared in the Customs documents as Sesame seed oil and Mustard oil. However, during the course of the careful examination, it was noticed that the material in 5 cans of mustard oil was different. The DRI officers thoroughly checked those 5 suspicious cans and found Off-white coloured material concealed at the bottom of those 5 oil cans. Upon testing with NDPS field kit, the said material tested positive for presence of Heroin. This finally resulted in recovery of 25.45 kg Heroin from those 5 cans, which was seized under the provisions of NDPS Act, 1985.
Thus a new modus operandi was detected in this case. It is for the first time that heroin has been seized by any Indian Agency, which was found to have been concealed in oil cans, in order to make it nearly impossible to detect it during the course of usual examination of import cargo.
Investigations revealed that the name of the importing firm was being used by a person of Indian Origin who has lived in Iran for a long time. The consignment was imported by him from Afghanistan by using his old connections in Iran. In his statement recorded under the provisions of Section 67 of the NDPS Act, 1985 he accepted that the imported consignment from which the narcotics was recovered, belonged to him, and divulged details about his Afghan connections. He was arrested under the provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985 for his role in smuggling of narcotic drugs. The jurisdictional court had remanded him to DRI custody.
During the course of follow up searches, two more persons have been arrested from Delhi yesterday and have been brought to Mumbai under transit remand today. Both of them were involved in financial transactions including Hawala for smooth import of this consignment. On their production in Sessions Court Panvel, they have been remanded to DRI Custody.
Further investigation in the case is going on.
Earlier in July this year DRI Mumbai had seized 294 Kgs Heroin at Nhava Sheva port from a consignment which too had originated in Afghanistan. Before that, in August 2020, DRI Mumbai had seized 191.6 Kgs Heroin at Nhava Sheva port from yet another consignment of Afghanistan origin. All these Drugs consignments originating from Afghanistan are shipped though Iranian ports of Chabahar / Bandar Abbas.
Besides these bigger seizures, around a dozen seizures of heroin and cocaine have been made by DRI Mumbai in last one year, of quantities of a few Kgs in each case, from courier parcels or from passengers coming from Africa and South America. Being the Apex Anti Smuggling Agency of the country, DRI focuses on supply reduction by effective Drug Law Enforcement against International drug syndicates.