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Mundra Drug Haul Case: Court Denies Bail To Accused

| Updated: December 31, 2021 14:51

The huge drug haul from Mundra port in late September led to the arrest of the company’s proprietor, allegedly receiving the consignment of semi-processed talc stones originating in Afghanistan. The cargo turned out be 2,998.21 kg of heroin, which docked in enroute Bandar Abbas Port in Iran.

Further development of the case Tuesday saw a NIA court in Ahmedabad reject the bail plea by key accused, Durga PV Govindaraju. Her counsel argued that that she was “innocent” and unaware of the consignment details. Her lawyer further added that she “was acting on instructions from her husband, also a key accused in the case — Machavaram Sudhakaran.”

NIA opposed Govindaraju’s bail application stating that the accused cannot claim relief on the ground of innocence as a similar modus operandi was adopted in June for shipping contraband drugs through Mundra port, of which 16.105 kg have been recovered, while the exact trail and amount received at the port remains a subject matter of investigation.

The Chennai-based couple own the company “importing the talc” consignment from M/s Hasan Husain Ltd, in Afghanistan. Govindaraju is the proprietor of M/S Aashi Trading Company, registered in Andhra Padesh’s Vijayawada. 

The court further observed that Govindaraju’s role “clearly and undoubtedly emerges.” She is also charged with “having conspired with other co-accused. Prima facie, she appears to be implicit in a grave and serious offence with far-reaching consequences,” pronounced NIA judge S.K, Baxi. 

The defence submitted that Govindaraju “was not involved into or a party to the transactions entered into by her husband” and was merely the proprietor “on paper” and therefore had “no knowledge of the import of the contraband heroin.” Adding that she is being “used as a scapegoat,” her lawyers named one Amit “who is more actively involved and instrumental in commission of the present offence.” The defence also implied that he is “surprisingly not arrested by the investigating agency.”

The NIA, however, argued that the offence will help unearth links in the larger international drug cartel which runs from Afghanistan, Iran and into India.” The terror-busting agency also charged Govindaraju “had absolutely full knowledge of the contents of the imported illegal consignments and was found to be an active member of international drug cartel.” 

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