INDIA. Mumbai: Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) operating the Mundra in Gujarat on Monday issued a trade advisory stating that it will not be handling any containerized cargo originating from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
The advisory came a month after nearly 3,000 kilograms of heroin was seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), from two containers at Mundra port, run by the Adani Group on September 13 for which the Adani Group was targeted on social media.
The Opposition, too, targeted the government over the seizure of drugs, alleging that it was a result of the Narendra Modi government’s ‘friendship’ with big corporates.
On Monday in a statement, APSEZ Chief Executive Officer Subrat Tripathy said that the terminals it runs will not handle cargo from Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan starting November 15. “With effect from 15 th November, APSEZ will not handle EXIM (Export-Import) containerized cargo originating from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. This advisory will apply to all terminals operated by APSEZ and including third party terminals at any APSEZ port till further notice”, the statement added.
On September 13, around 3,000 kilograms of heroin was seized from two containers at Gujarat’s Mundra port. The consignment had come from Afghanistan, one of the largest illegal producers of opium. The cargo had arrived from Afghanistan via Iran’s Bandar Abbas port in the name of a Vijayawada-based trading company. The case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on October 6.
The heroin was concealed in jumbo bags said to contain unprocessed talc powder. The drug was placed in the lower layers of the bags and then topped with talc stones to avoid detection.
The seizure was made during a joint operation by the Customs department and the DRI was valued at around Rs. 20,000 crore.
It also triggered a series of raids across the country in which eight persons, including Afghan and Uzbekistan nationals, were arrested.
The company then had put out a statement on September 21 that read: A joint operation by the DRI and Customs unearthed a large cache of contraband heroin from two containers from Afghanistan that had arrived at the Mundra International Container Terminal (MICT), Mundra Port. We thank and congratulate the DRI & Customs teams for seizing the illegal drugs and apprehending the accused.
“APSEZ is a port operator providing services to shipping lines. We have no policing authority over the containers or the millions of tonnes of cargo that pass through the terminal in Mundra or any of our ports. We sincerely hope that this statement will put to rest the motivated, malicious, and false propaganda being run on social media against the Adani Group,” the statement had added.