The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday said that they have arrested three more accused, including an Afghan national, in connection with the seizure of 3,000 kgs of heroin, valued at Rs 21,000 crore, at Gujarat's Mundra Port in September last year.
"Rahmatullah, a resident of Malviya Nagar, south Delhi (permanent resident of Kabul), Ishwinder Singh and Jasbir Singh were arrested on Wednesday for their active involvement in smuggling of heroin in large consignments, hidden in containers of talc stones, bituminous coal etc. through the maritime route," an NIA official said.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had seized the heroin, concealed in a consignment of semi-processed talc stone, between September 17 and September 19, 2021 at Container Freight Station of Mundra Port.
The case, initially registered by the DRI and re-registered by NIA, pertains to the operations of one of the largest international drug smuggling syndicates, run by brothers Hassan Daad and Hussain Daad, both Afghan nationals who are already wanted by the NIA in the Mundra case.
The duo smuggled multiple consignments of heroin concealed in apparently innocuous consignments of goods such as semi-processed talc stones and bituminous coal imported into India through different ports, including Mundra and Kolkata, and further moved to New Delhi via trucks.
"The investigation has revealed a vast and widespread network of drug traffickers, international facilitators, importers using shell companies, distributors and local wholesalers and retailers, who are operating a huge international drug smuggling racket from many countries, including Afghanistan, Iran and the UAE," the official said.
The NIA has learnt that 5 consignments of heroin laden goods were imported into India between November 2020 and September 2021. Three such consignments of semi-processed talc stones ultimately reached at a warehouse in Neb Sarai, Delhi, which was rented by absconding accused, Najibullah Khalid in the name of another Afghan national Noorzahi Abdul Salam.
"The heroin was segregated from the goods in this warehouse by Afghani experts and then sent for distribution in the market through a network of drug suppliers and peddlers. The concealing material was removed to another warehouse rented out by Shaheen alias Rock, an Aghan national and key associate of Najibullah, through arrested accused Jasbir Singh and Ishwinder Singh," the official said.
The official said that Singh, a known drug distributor, was in direct touch with Javed, an Afghanistan-based accused and key aide of Hassan Daad. On his directions, Singh, in connivance with Jasbir, fabricated false documents and rented a warehouse at Hamidpur, where the semi-processed talc was shifted from the Neb Sarai Warehouse for further disposal.
"Sustained examination of Singh revealed the presence of a close aide and associate of Javed, namely Rahmatullah, an Afghan national, in Delhi. Rahmatullah was arrested and 3.9 kg of heroin was recovered from him. He is an Afghan national who was especially inducted into India around 8-10 months ago for handling the drug trade network run by Hassan Daad and Hussain Daad," the odficial said.
Earlier, search conducted at the residence of Ishwinder Singh led to the recovery of heroin in commercial quantities.