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How Gujarat Ports Remain Hot Transit Point for Drug Smugglers with Latest Seizure from Mundra

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: July 12, 2022, 15:38 IST

In the world’s biggest seizure of heroin at Mundra port last year, the agencies confiscated drugs worth Rs 21,000 crore. (Photo: PTI File)

In the world’s biggest seizure of heroin at Mundra port last year, the agencies confiscated drugs worth Rs 21,000 crore. (Photo: PTI File)

Gujarat ATS recently confiscated drugs worth Rs 350 crore from Mundra port. The consignment reached from Dubai but may have originated from Afghanistan. Drugs being transported in containers is emerging as the biggest threat to narco-terrorism

The frequency of drug consignments arriving in India via Gujarat has not seen any decline despite agencies strictly monitoring it after the major drug haul at Mundra port last year.

Recently, the Gujarat Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) has seized drugs worth Rs 350 crore and the operation is still on.

In a joint operation, based on the tip-off given by the Punjab Police, the Gujarat ATS recovered 75kg of heroin from a container of unstitched clothes at Mundra port. The investigation in the matter is on, said DGP Punjab Police Gaurav Yadav on Tuesday.

According to sources, the consignment reached to Mundra port from Dubai but the officials believe that it originated from Afghanistan.

The consignment was parked at a facility of port where other temporary deliveries were being kept after custom clearance. It is expected that some insider played a key role in facilitating the drugs. It is also expected that the amount of seizure may increase until the operation ends.

The ATS in April along with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized heroin worth Rs 1,300 crore from Kandla port.

Similarly, in the world’s biggest seizure of heroin at Mundra port last year, the agencies confiscated drugs worth Rs 21,000 crore.

Importantly, just like the recent 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 fearlessly transporting drugs via containers, and have made ports a new playground for smuggling. This is emerging as the biggest threat to narco-terrorism as the containers carry drugs in massive quantities and a single miss from the port authorities gives the peddlers crores of profits.

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.

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first published:July 12, 2022, 11:36 IST
last updated:July 12, 2022, 15:38 IST