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Gujarat: Mundra heroin haul to be destroyed Wednesday, Union finance minister to oversee process virtually

Nearly 2,990 kg heroin seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at Mundra port last September will be destroyed Wednesday, during an operation overseen by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanthe Center said.

“The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) would be conducting a Drug Destruction Day tomorrow (08.06.022) as apart of Iconic Week of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” (AKAM) celebrations of Ministry of Finance to mark the 75th year of Indian independence. A total of around 42000 kg narcotics would be destroyed at 14 locations across the country,” a release by the Press Information Bureau read.

Of the 42,000 kg narcotics set to be incinerated, 2,990 kg is high-grade heroin seized by the DRI at Mundra port, which is run by the Adani Group, in Kutch district last September. The consignment, the largest ever to be intercepted in India, was believed to be worth Rs 21,000 crore in market price, sources said.

The 14 locations where the narcotics will be destroyed include Mundra and Kandla ports in Kutch district as well as Ankleshwar in Bharuch district of Gujarat, Guwahati in Assam, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai, Pune and Raigad in Maharashtra, Patna in Bihar, Siliguri in West Bengal, Tumkur in Karnataka, New Delhi, Hyderabad in Telangana, Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu, the release further said.

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“The heroin consignment seized by the DRI from Adani’s Mundra port is part of the narcotics and psychotropic substances which will be incinerated on Wednesday,” an officer involved in the probe in the Mundra drug haul case told indianexpress.com,

Sitharaman will virtually oversee the process of destroying the contraband, he added.

“The Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman would be virtually witnessing the destruction process to be held at Guwahati, Lucknow, Mumbai, Mundra/Kandla, Patna and Siliguri and would be addressing the officers,” the release said.

According to investigating agencies that probed the Mundra drug haul case, the contraband had come from Afghanistan and was shipped from Bandar Abbas port in Iran. In official documents, the cargo packed in two containers was declared to be semi-processed talc and talc stones. However, based on inputs, the DRI had intercepted the consignment at Mundra port and arrested a couple from Chennai, claiming the firm run by them had imported the cargo. Later on, a few more people were arrested in connection with the case even as the probe was eventually transferred to the National Investigating Agency (NIA). Accordingly, the case was transferred to a special NIA court in Ahmedabad from the NDPS Act court in Bhuj, Kutch.

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