After Punjab Police tip-off, Gujarat ATS seizes Rs 350 cr heroin from Mundra Port

Based on a specific tip off, the ATS searched a shipping container, which arrived from another country some time back and was kept at a container freight station outside the port

Darshan DesaiUpdated: Friday, July 15, 2022, 05:29 PM IST

Notwithstanding all the claims of the State Police, the number of drug consignments arriving in the country through Gujarat has not seen any decline ever since the massive drug haul at Mundra port last year.

It was following a tip-off from the Punjab Police that the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Tuesday seized drugs worth Rs 350 crore.

Based on a joint operation, after the intelligence provided by the Punjab Police, the Gujarat ATS recovered 75kg of heroin from a container of unstitched clothes at Mundra port, Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav stated on Tuesday.

The Punjab DGP took to Twitter to share the information about the major seizure. He said: ``An input regarding #Heroin having been concealed in container of unstitched clothes at Mundra Port was shared by @PunjabPolicelnd with Gujarat ATS which led to recovery of 75 Kg heroin in a joint operation. Consignment booked by Punjab-based importer. Further investigations on’’.

Yadav further said that this consignment was supposed to reach Punjab and supplied to different places from here. Stating that the case was being thoroughly investigated into.

Official sources indicated that the consignment reached Mundra port from Dubai but the investigations indicated that it might have actually originated in Afghanistan.

The consignment was parked at a facility of port, along with other temporary deliveries kept there for customs clearance. Sources believe that some insider played a key role in bringing in the drugs, and that the seizure might be larger, which could be revealed during further investigations.

It was just over two months that the ATS in April, jointly with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized heroin worth Rs 1,300 crore from Kandla port.

Similarly, in what was stated to be the world’s biggest heroin seizure from the same Mundra port last year, the agencies confiscated drugs worth Rs 21,000 crore.

And sources disclosed that just like the latest Mundra port consignment, another package carrying drugs worth crores of rupees moved out safely without any hint to government officials deployed at the airport. This was one of the major miss by the agencies deployed at Mundra port.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was jointly investigating the cases of consignments moved from Mundra port last year, is also handling this matter.

Drug peddlers are known to be transporting drugs through containers without impunity and have made ports a new infiltration location for smuggling. Since 2020, intelligence agencies have been dealing with the new trend, which poses a challenge for security agencies posted at the borders.

What is intriguing is that the transportation of massive quantities began during the first post-Covid-19 in 2020. Simultaneously, security agencies posted at the port also claim they are poorly equipped and work under pathetic conditions.

Though, agencies deployed at the port also say that they have poor facilities and some of them are working under poor conditions.

According to the home ministry, as reported in a section of the national media, the condition of the other 21 seaport integrated check posts (ICPs), run Since 2020, intelligence agencies have been dealing with the new trend, which poses a challenge for security agencies guarding virtual borders. The transportation of massive quantities began during the first lockdown imposed due to the outbreak Covid-19 last year.

Though, agencies deployed at the port also say that they have poor facilities and some of them are working under poor conditions.

According to the home ministry, the condition of the other 21 seaport integrated check posts (ICPs), which are manned by the state government personnel is worse than the Bureau of Immigration (BoI)-controlled ICPs. Though BoI has supplied the required technical items, for instance, computers, webcams at these seaport ICPs, the space and infrastructure provided to the immigration personnel are grossly inadequate.

“In the recent past, there has been strong pressure from port trusts and tour operators on BoI to perform immigration function at berths where no leased line connectivity exists, which is non-negotiable as without data flow from the main server located in Delhi, security vetting and immigration clearance cannot be done,” the MHA says.

Since 2020, intelligence agencies have been dealing with the new trend, which poses a challenge for security agencies guarding virtual borders. The transportation of massive quantities began during the first lockdown imposed due to the outbreak Covid-19 last year.

Though, agencies deployed at the port also say that they have poor facilities and some of them are working under poor conditions.

According to the home ministry, the condition of the other 21 seaport integrated check posts (ICPs), which are run by the State Government personnel, is worse than the Bureau of Immigration (BoI)-controlled ICPs. Says an official, requesting anonymity, BoI has supplied the required material like computers and webcams at these seaport ICPs, the space and infrastructure provided to the immigration personnel are grossly inadequate.

“In the recent past, there has been strong pressure from port trusts and tour operators on BoI to perform immigration function at berths where no leased line connectivity exists, which is non-negotiable as without data flow from the main server located in Delhi, security vetting and immigration clearance cannot be done,” the MHA has been quoted as saying.

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