Operation Namkeen: How DRI planned Rs 500 crore drug bust at Gujarat’s Mundra Port

The finance ministry said that the DRI acted on an intelligence input that certain consignments being imported from Iran were likely to contain narcotic drugs. 

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has seized 52 kg of cocaine valued at over Rs 500 crore from an import consignment at the Mundra port in Gujarat’s Kutch district. 

Issuing a statement, the finance ministry said that the DRI acted on an intelligence input that certain consignments being imported from Iran were likely to contain narcotic drugs. 

Acting on the input, the DRI launched “Operation Namkeen” and on May 24, it intercepted a consignment, declared to contain 1,000 bags of common salt having gross weight of 25 MT, which had been imported at Mundra port from Iran. 

During examination, some bags were found to be suspicious, as a substance in powder form having distinct smell was found in these bags. Samples tested from those suspected bags confirmed the presence of cocaine in these samples.

“…a consignment declared to contain 1,000 bags of common salt having gross weight of 25 MT, which had been imported at Mundra Port from Iran, was identified for detailed examination. The consignment was examined for three continuous days—from May 24 to 26,” the DRI statement.

“During the examination, some bags were found to be suspicious as a substance in powder form having a distinct smell was found in them. Samples were drawn from those suspected bags and testing was conducted by officials of Directorate of Forensic Sciences, the Gujarat government, who reported the presence of cocaine in these samples. Thus far, 52 kg of cocaine has been recovered by DRI. Examination and seizure proceedings under the provisions of NDPS Act, 1985 are in progress. Roles of various persons involved in the said import consignment are also being investigated by DRI,” the statement said.

The latest seizure came a month after the DRI recovered 260 kg of heroin worth Rs 1,300 crore during a raid at a container station near Kandla port in Kutch. 

Days later, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad(ATS) and DRI recovered nearly 90 kilogram of heroin worth Rs 450 crore from a shipping container that had arrived from Iran at the Pipavav port in Amreli district.

In September 2021, the DRI, in the single largest heroin haul in India to date, seized around 3,000 kg of the drug, believed to have originated in Afghanistan and worth about Rs 21,000 crore in global markets, from two containers at the Mundra port.

     

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