On Saturday, heroin worth Rs. 1,000 crore was seized at the Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva port. The massive drugs weighed around 191 kilograms. Officials confiscated the contraband after receiving a tip-off. The contraband was being smuggled to India from Afghanistan via Iran.
The contraband was declared as an Ayurvedic medicine in order to make the transport easier. There were plastic pipes in which drugs were hidden. These plastic pipes were painted to give them a look-alike of bamboos.
The DRI ( Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) and the Customs seized the contraband after an official of Customs gave a tip-off. After the tip, officials of special intelligence and investigation branch (SIIB) approached the DRI for help.
According to an official, upon examining the container, they saw orange-coloured gummy bags that were being imported by Sarvim Exports. The goods kept inside the gummy bags were marked as Glycyrrhiza glabra extract or liquorice root extract.
The wooden pipes were having bark around it that appeared to be pasted upon them. Upon removing the outer bark, officials found a green pipe that was filled with a powder, stuffed inside, reported Times Of India. To make sure that the powder was heroin an NDPS test was also conducted.
The seized heroin is of high quality with a market value of around ₹5 crores for each kg.
Mulethi is in demand in India, especially because of the Covid-19 pandemic, as it is used in making immunity-boosting ayurvedic medicines. “There is a possibility that the cartel was using this opportunity to smuggle in heroin through cargo of Mulethi. The cartel may have links with narcotic rackets in Afghanistan,” DRI sources said.
Following specific information about the consignment, DRI and customs department jointly launched the operation to bust the racket. The two arrested accused are linked to the paperwork for facilitating smooth movement of the cargo. The owner of the company which had ordered the cargo is also under scanner.