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Mundra Port drug haul: NIA raids multiple locations including private club in Delhi’s Samrat

Probing seizure of 3,000 kg of heroin from Gujarat's Mundra Port last September, NIA has filed a chargesheet and made 10 arrests in connection with the case.

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New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is carrying out raids at multiple locations across the country, including a private club in Delhi’s Hotel Samrat, in connection with the Mundra Port drugs case, ThePrint has learnt. 

The ongoing raids, sources in the NIA said, are in connection with suspected points of distribution where drugs shipped to Mundra Port in the past may have been routed.

“The raids are on. It is being carried out in different locations in India, including 10 locations in Delhi. We had leads about more people being involved in the racket,” a source in the NIA told ThePrint, adding that more details on the recovery will be shared after the raids are over.

ThePrint reached Hotel Samrat via phone, but the hotel denied any such raid had taken place.

“We would like to clarify that the club does not belong to Hotel Samrat (ITDC) and the premises have been leased out to a private party who runs & manages it and Hotel Samrat and ITDC are in no way related to the club or the incident,” a statement by the India Tourism Corporation Development (ITDC) said.

Nearly 3,000 kg of heroin had been seized from Gujarat’s Mundra Port in September last year by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), making the Mundra Port haul the largest drug consignment intercepted by the DRI till then. The seized high-quality contraband was estimated to be worth over Rs 21,000 crore in the international market.

A detailed chargesheet was filed in this case by the NIA in March against 16 alleged narcotics traffickers, including Afghan and Iranian nationals. In the chargesheet, filed before a special NIA court in Ahmedabad, the agency had alleged that key accused in the case had links to “Pakistan terror outfits”, and that the proceeds from smuggling these drugs into India were being routed back to Pakistan, to be used for “anti-India activities”.

The NIA has arrested 10 individuals in connection with the case to date. These include five Afghan nationals and five Indians, while six others — one Iranian and five Afghan nationals — are still on the run. 

More arrests are likely in the coming days, said sources.

Also Read: White residue, ‘Talc’ WhatsApp group, hawala — how Rs 21,000-cr Mundra drug bust was ‘cracked’

Afghan connection

According to the details of the chargesheet, accessed by ThePrint, the NIA claimed that this massive drug racket was sustained by a “well-oiled system” allegedly run and funded from Afghanistan, and a motley bunch of key characters who efficiently pushed drugs into India with the aim of selling it in the country.

A source in the NIA said the agency suspects that the proceeds of smuggling were “repatriated to Afghanistan to finance terror activities”.

Evidence collected by the NIA shows how the racket forged “a dozen documents”, including GST invoices, custom clearance certificates, and company records, “greased many palms”, and rented premises in Delhi to store the drugs before distributing them in the Indian market through a network of peddlers, the source added.

(This report has been updated with additional inputs)

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

Also Read: 8 years in US prison, ‘drug hauls, money laundering’: The murky past of Paradiso’s Ashok Solomon


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