India seized $2.7bn in Afghan heroin amid Taliban takeover chaos

Nearly three tonnes of heroin originating from Afghanistan seized and two people arrested in one of India’s biggest hauls to date.

A general view of the Mundra Port in India's western state of Gujarat [File: Amit Dave/Reuters]

Indian officials say they seized nearly three tonnes of heroin originating from Afghanistan worth an estimated 200bn rupees ($2.72bn) amid the chaos following last month’s takeover of the country by the Taliban.

India’s top anti-smuggling agency, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), seized two containers at Mundra Port in the western state of Gujarat on September 15 after receiving intelligence they contained narcotics, according to a Gujarat official speaking anonymously.

More than 2,988kg (6,590 pounds) of heroin was recovered in one of India’s biggest such hauls to date.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the haul and investigations were ongoing, the official in Gujarat, who is not authorised to speak publicly, said.

 

The containers had been imported by a firm in the southern coastal city of Vijayawada, the official added

“Investigation conducted so far has also revealed the involvement of Afghan nationals, who are under investigation.”

DRI officials declined to comment.

The narcotics were headed to New Delhi and the two arrested people had sought an import-export licence based on a home address in the southern city of Vijayawada, police in Vijayawada said in a statement on Monday.

The containers’ cargo had been declared as semi-processed talc stones from Afghanistan and had been shipped from Bandar Abbas Port in Iran to Mundra, the official said, adding that forensic tests confirmed the presence of heroin.

Afghanistan is the world’s biggest illicit opiate supplier, but since taking power, the Taliban has said it plans to ban the drug trade, without giving details on how.

Source: Reuters

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