Here’s the real story of the world’s biggest heroin haul and Adani figures no where in it.

| Updated: September 25, 2021 8:02 am

The 30,000 kilogram of heroin seized from Mundra port in Gujarat’s Kutch was not for Indian consumption and the name of Gautam Adani, whose group owns the port, is being unnecessarily dragged in as part of a political mudslinging campaign that might actually harm the investigation, top sources in the probe teams have told Vibes of India.

An international drug cartel is believed to be involved and the final destination of the contents of the two containers was likely to be the United States said top sources in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

The port from where the heroin has been seized — the Mundra Port owned by the Adani Group — has absolutely no role and amid a malicious, politically motivated campaign, India has forgotten to applaud the DRI and customs department teams that have carried off such a sensational investigation and seizure, the miffed officers said.

The only Gujarati involved in this drug smuggling racket, who could also be a front, is a man called Amit. He is a cargo operator who has offices in Ahmedabad and Kutch. He has been arrested.

The DRI sources said that from Mundra, the cache was not intended to go to Vijayawada at all. (See the attached video)

DRI former director-general B V Kumar

The heroin from Mundra would have reached Delhi or Mumbai by land, from where it would have been dispatched to the US and some part of it maybe to Amsterdam for European markets. Terrorist outfits in India could perhaps have requested for some miniscule proportion, but preliminary information says, the entire stock was not for India.

A Rajasthan-based agency, Jaideep Logistics, had arranged for a truck to carry the heroin. But the catch is here. There has been an earlier consignment of a much bigger size, addressed to the same Chennai couple that this truck is carrying but surprisingly, it has not left Gujarat. Sources say the truck is still missing. It is probably in Gujarat with an earlier heroin stock that has not yet left the state, the investigators said. Vibes of India can confirm the numberplate of the truck: RJ:01:GB 8238.

“India is in no position to manage this large a heroin cache — $2.7 billion that is 21,900 crore, is a huge amount,” said a DRI official, requesting anonymity. “This is of the recent containers. At least two more containers have gone out in the past which would add nearly double the total. This is not possible without a strong international cartel at play.”

Gautam Adani is nowhere involved.

DRI and customs officers said it was very naive to give a political colour to this heroin haul and it would benefit the drug cartel.

Gautam Adani

A serving DRI officer told VoI that he was absolutely surprised seeing senior politicians whom he respected — like P Chidambaram, he said — making this issue political and dragging Gautam Adani into it.

“During Congress regimes too, several contraband and gold smuggling operations have been busted but no single individual was named. This includes Gujarat where contraband seizure was a regular feature from Kutch and Salaya in Saurashtra. This is a matter of national security not political point-scoring,” he said.

A customs officer who is currently serving in Rajasthan pointed out to VoI that the truck which was supposed to carry the drugs from Mundra is owned by Jaideep Logistics, a Rajasthan-based company.

“Has anyone named a particular person or the ruling Congress government in Rajasthan as being hand in glove? Because that’s the silliest thing to do,” said the customs officer who added that he was against several BJP policies.

“Political conspiracy theories may damage the investigation,” the official said. “It is immature and politically motivated to drag the Mundra port owner, in this case Gautam Adani, in the heroin haul because port owners, according to customs rules in India, are mere custodians of the cargo.”

In this case, the Mundra port or Adanis would have had no right to even open the containers or prove that they did not contain what they were declared to hold, the customs officer said.

“The 3 tonne heroin cache was mis declared. In case, this cache was abandoned. If nobody would have come forward, the Adani owned port authorities would have had to inform the government agencies and open it only in the presence of government officials and then it could have been auctioned,” the officer explained.

“There was or is no way the port operator could know the contents of the container,” he iterated.

“We have been reading a lot of misleading reports asserting the role of Gautam Adani but though I do not have political alignments to the BJP it is legally and morally wrong to name Adani in this seizure,” another officer said.

A serving DRI official who has been in Kutch several times told Vibes of India: “I went through the Adani press note. There is not a single fact that can be doubted. I see no case against the Mundra port owners. Adanis are absolutely right when they say they have no role to play.”

The issue-wise, strategy-wise and human resources-wise bankrupt Congress has latched onto the issue trying to put Gautam Adani in the dock. The reason is simple. He is close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But this political mudslinging, senior officers believe, may not only damage the investigations but give a broader rope to the drug cartel to manoeuvre in India.

World Customs Organisation officials in Brussels, Belgium pointed out to Vibes of India that WCO chief Kunio Mikiriya has also been quoted as saying that ports enjoy no legal rights to open or operate any container.

WCO chief Kunio Mikiriya

DRI former director-general B V Kumar, whose book DRI and Dons: The Untold Stories is a racy account detailing various similar cases, echoed similar sentiments. In response to a question from VoI,he said: “This [the heroin smuggling] would be a multiple-layer operation with lots of people in front. These fronts may have no idea also of the operation. If any of these fronts dare to come out as government witnesses they may be killed, too. Such is the power of the drug cartel.”

Commissioner of Vijayawada Police Commissionerate Bathini Sreenivasulu

Kumar, who led not just the DRI but quite a few central agencies and was known as a super sleuth, agreed that Adani’s name was being unnecessarily dragged into the case. “This is not right”, he said, until the investigations are over.“

A port owner has no right over any containments. They are only custodians. And in my 35 year old history, I have seen that public and private ports are equally used for drug landing and transit,” he added.

He recalled how a major drug consignment had been seized at the government-owned Nhava Sheva on the outskirts of Mumbai in Maharashtra.

He also underlined a geopolitical plot.

“This seems to be a deliberate ploy by Pakistan. They help Afghanistan [move its heroin]. The containers were deliberately sent to Iran and then resent to India. Iran and India has healthy trade relations,” he said.

Serving DRI officials categorically stated that Pakistan was directly involved in this operation because “they are eager to help Afghanistan which is in a dire economic situation”.

The hurt sleuths’ locker

A commissioner-rank customs officer told VoI that despite pulling off the world’s biggest heroin-smuggling bust the DRI and customs team had remained unsung.

“This can only happen in India,” the officer said. “We risk our lives and limbs exposing international cartels. We are invisible people doing very visible tasks but still we are not being acknowledged.”

B.V.Kumar, who was once on the cover of Illustrated Weekly, agreed that it was a valid grievance.

What the investigators know

The heroin supply is not for India. India accounts for 6 per cent of drug use of the world and this cache is something India cannot afford. The market price of one kilo of heroin is Rs 4 crore. Here we are talking about 30,000 crores. Plus 250,000 crore heroin in early consignment. The first consignment left in June but the port operator cannot be blamed. It is the Customs who is responsible. Under law, Adani’s Mundra port is only the custodian and has no idea what is inside the containers.

All the people arrested till now are believed to be only the front line of a six-layer operation by a drug cartel that is believed to operate from overseas. Sudhakar and Durga Vaishali, the couple used for ordering the world’s largest heroin shipment, were not paid more than $410. They have been used by a man called Ravi Varma of Chennai whose import export licence has been used in the couple’s name to import the heroin by declaring it as talcum powder and talc stones. The Rajasthan-based Jaideep Logistics could also be a part of the front.

Pakistan, the sleuths believe, has played an active role and routed the shipment through Iran to mislead.

This heroin profits could have been used to supplement the dire economy of Taliban. The containers were dispatched from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over.

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