NIA searches for multiple locations in Mundra Adani port drug transport case
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday conducted searches in several locations across the country as part of its investigation into the transport of drugs to the port of Mundra Adani in Gujarat.
“Searches were carried out in Chennai, Coimbatore, Vijaywada in the premises of the accused / suspects … During the searches, various documents, articles and other incriminated objects were seized”, indicated the NIA in a statement.
The case relates to the seizure of 2,988.21 kg of heroin by the Tax Intelligence Directorate (DRI) at the port of Mundra in Gujarat on September 16. The case was transferred to the NIA on October 6.
The heroin was found in two containers, declared to contain “semi-processed talc stones”, which landed at the port of Mundra. The containers came from Afghanistan via the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
The NIA said it had registered a case in the case following an order from the Home Office. In addition to the articles of the IPC and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), the NIA also invoked Article 17 (Punishment for fundraising for terrorism) and Article 18 (Punishment for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts) illegal activities (Prevention) (UAPA).
The NIA FIR has named Machavaram Sudhakaran, Durga PV Govindaraju and Rajkumar P as defendants, among others. “Following the registration of the case, the actions required by law for a speedy investigation of the case have been taken,” the NIA said in a statement.
Sudhakaran and Govindaraju, a couple based in Chennai, own the company that shipped the contraband. Govindaraju is the owner of M / s Aashi Trading Company, which is registered in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, which imported talc from a company called M / s Hasan Husain Ltd. Rajkumar, from Coimbatore, was working in Iran and was reportedly “coordinating with foreign suppliers”.
So far, nine people have been arrested in the case, including four Afghans and an Uzbek national, according to a statement released by the Press Information Office (PIB). All arrests were made by the DRI. The Narcotics Control Bureau and the Anti-Fraud Directorate are also investigating the case.
Last month, a special NDPS tribunal in Gujarat ordered the DRI to investigate whether the “port of Mundra Adani, its management and its authority have benefited” from the importation of the shipment.