Updated: December 14, 2021 10:17:17 pm
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday arrested an Afghan national in connection with the Mundra port drug haul case. The accused, Sobhan Aryanfar (28), is a resident of south Delhi’s Neb Sarai.
“During investigation, Aryanfar was found to be involved in the conspiracy of transporting narcotic drugs concealed in import consignment of ‘semi-processed talc stones’ originating from Afghanistan,” NIA said, adding that, earlier, seven people were arrested in this case.
On October 20, NIA had conducted searches at a godown in Neb Sarai and recovered “white-powder material”.
“Search was conducted at Neb Sarai in connection with the seizure of narcotics substance imported in the guise of semi-processed talc stones by M/s Aashi Trading company. During the search, white-powder material, suspected to be talc mixed with narcotics, has been seized,” NIA said.
This is the third search in the case. On October 12, NIA had conducted searches at multiple locations in Delhi, including residential premises and godowns at Lajpat Nagar, Alipur, Khera Kalan and Noida.
Besides sections of IPC and Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, NIA has also invoked Section 17 (punishment for raising funds for terrorist act) and Section 18 (punishment for conspiracy to commit terror acts) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
On October 9, NIA had conducted searches across the country.
The case is related to seizure of 2,988.21kg heroin at Gujarat’s Mundra port by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) last month. The heroin was found in two containers, which were declared as containing “semi-processed talc stones”, that landed from Afghanistan via Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port in the name of Aashi Trading Company of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.
The case was transferred to NIA on October 6. The agency said it had registered a case following an order from the Union Home Ministry. The FIR has named Machavaram Sudhakaran, Durga PV Govindaraju and Rajkumar P as accused, among others.
Sudhakaran and Govindaraju, a Chennai-based couple, own the company, which was shipping the contraband. Govindaraju is the proprietor of the firm M/s Aashi Trading Company, registered in Vijayawada, that was importing the talc from a firm, M/s Hasan Husain Ltd. Rajkumar, from Coimbatore, worked in Iran and was allegedly “coordinating with foreign suppliers”.