A special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court in Gujarat has directed the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to investigate if the “Mundra Adani Port, its management and its authority has gained any benefits” from the import of the 2,988.21 kg heroin, which was seized by the DRI on 16 September, reported The Indian Express.
As per the Indian Express report, Additional District Judge CM Pawar while hearing the remand application of Rajkumar P, one of the key accused in the case, on 26 September, said, “…it is required to be investigated that what is the role of authority and officers of Mundra Adani Port while such consignment/container was sent/imported from foreign nation to India and landed at Mundra Adani Port and how management, authority and officer of Mundra Adani port was completely under dark and oblivious about the fact of import of such consignment at Mundra Adani Port wherein contraband heroin of approximately 2,990 kg was found and whether Mundra Adani Port, its management and its authority has gained any benefits from import of such consignment of NDPS substances in India.”
The court further directed the DRI to probe the “modalities and the process for scanning and checking of such container and consignment at foreign nations and at Mundra port when said consignment/container was sent/imported from foreign nation to India and landed at Mundra Adani Port.”
On 16 September, the authorities had seized the Rs 15,000 crore contraband from two containers at the Mundra port in Gujarat's Kutch district and subsequently arrested a couple that runs an import firm from Chennai.
Investigations had revealed that the consignment was imported by a trading company, called Aashi Trading Company, registered in Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. It was declared as semi-processed talc stones originating from Afghanistan and shipped from Bandar Abbas Port in Iran to Mundra Port in Gujarat, they said.
The NDPS court said the heroin seizure had raised "many issues" -- such as why the consignment was “registered and landed at Mundra Adani Port, Gujarat which is far from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh" -- that needed investigation.
Earlier, the Adani Group had issued a statement on behalf of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), saying a port operator’s role was “limited to running the port”.
Media statement on the malicious social media campaign against the Adani Group on the seizure of illegal drugs at Mundra Port. pic.twitter.com/z4gutdzKyK
— Adani Group (@AdaniOnline) September 21, 2021
The Adani Group had hailed the authorities for seizing the contraband shipment and apprehending the accused. The statement further added that only government authorities like Customs and DRI are allowed to open, examine and seize the unlawful cargo. It further said that port operators in the country are not authorised to examine a container as their role is limited to running the port.
With iputs from agencies