Gujarat with the largest coastline of 1600 km in India that has since centuries paved the way for overseas trade and commerce now finds itself being misused.
Unfortunately, Gujarat’s coastline has become the transit point for India’s nefarious drugs trade.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has now seized heroin worth Rs 21,000 crore or above from a ship at Mundra port in the state.
Gujarat ATS, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Marine Police, along with DRI intercepted a ship at Mundra port in Kutch, which was loaded with two consignments that were deliberately mis-declared as talcum powder. This was actually but had been trying to smuggle heroin from Afghanistan via Iran ports. The consignment, imported by Andhra Pradesh-based firm and exported by a Kandahar-based company, was shipped to Gujarat on September 13-14 via Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port.
Afghanistan is the biggest producer of heroin in the world. It supplies around 80-90 per cent of total global output. In recent years, the production of heroin has boomed in the country, helping fund the Taliban, who took over the power of the country in August. Experts from Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Gandhinagar examined the substance and found it to be very high-quality heroin that likely originated in Afghanistan.
Under the operation, ATS has seven Iranian nationals were arrested, who were the crew members of the ship.
The officials were tipped off and found the import of such a large quantity of talcum powder to be suspicious. Following this, the officials intercepted the consignments and found heroin buried under the packets of talcum powder and seized the heroin, which came up to 2988.22kg with its worth approx. valuation reaching Rs 7 crore per kilogram on September 16 and 17.
In connection to this, a Chennai-based couple has been arrested and several Afghan nationals from Delhi-NCR have also been detained by the agencies. They are being intensively interrogated for possible Taliban-ISI links, according to an official.
The past week witnessed at least three foreign boats and ships being intercepted by Indian Coast Guards and other agencies off the coast of Kutch and Porbandar. The officials link the recent increase in smugglings of heroin to the recent instability in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country. They believe that Gujarat coast has always been tried to be used for smuggling in drugs from the Middle Eastern countries with more incidents of heroin being caught at the ports and almost all of them have been Afghan nationals.
The operation took place after ATS DYSP B. Rojiya received information. The ATS team – SP Imtiaz Shaikh, PI Sanjay Parmar, PSI DH Korat, PSI Mitesh Trivedi along with Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Marine Police and DRI together executed and undertook the operation off the coast.
The arrested people; SP Imtiyiaz Shaikh; PI Sanjay Parmar