INDIA. Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Mumbai unit on Monday said that it recovered 293.81 kgs of heroin, worth Rs 2000 crore in the international illicit market, from a Punjab-based firm, which imported it from Iran via Afghanistan.
Prabhjit Singh, the proprietor of the firm which imported the consignment, was arrested by DRI of the Amritsar Regional Unit on July 1. He was brought to Mumbai and produced before a Panvel court in Maharashtra and was remanded to DRI custody till July 12 on Monday. His two associates were also arrested by DRI Indore Zonal Unit officers from Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri and are being brought on transit remand from Indore to Mumbai.
The consignment was found concealed in two containers packed with semi-processed talc stones when it reached Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Navi Mumbai. The probe revealed that the consignment had arrived from Chabahar port in Iran via Afghanistan. This is one of the biggest seizures of heroin this year, DRI officials claimed.
On July 01, DRI, in coordination with National Customs Targeting Centre and Nhava Sheva Customs examined two containers imported by Singh’s M/s Sandhu Export, Taran Taran, Amritsar (Punjab), from Afghanistan, with a declared cargo of semi-processed talc stones.
“On examination, each container was found to contain around 350 gunny bags. In 6 gunny bags (3 in each container) cream colour white substance of slightly rough texture was found, which was visibly different from the declared cargo of semi-processed talc stones found in the other gunny bags which were pure white and of fine texture. These 6 gunny bags of similar weight and having slightly different marks and sieve patterns were found concealed at different locations inside the containers. On testing with the Drug Detection Kit, the substance in all these 6 gunny bags was found to be heroin. The contraband was seized under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.
The consignment was declared as gypsum stone and talcum powder. The import-export code was in the name of Singh and the consignment was supposed to be sent to Punjab. Singh had been importing gypsum stone and talcum powder via the JNPT for the last one year, DRI officials said.
In August last year, the DRI and Mumbai Customs had seized 191 kg of heroin worth around Rs 1,000 crore, declared it as an ‘ayurvedic medicine’, and was believed to have originated from Afghanistan, from a cargo container at the JNPT.