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Adani Ports bans cargo from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan due to drug danger

Mundra Port, File Photo.(Courtesy: REUTERS)

The private sector Adani Ports said on Monday that its terminals will not handle cargo from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan starting November 15. The move comes in the wake of the recent Rs 20,000 crore Afghan heroin consignment smuggled in ship containers via Iran that was detected at Mundra port on the Gujarat coast.

"With effect from 15th November, APSEZ will not handle EXIM (Export-Import) containerized cargo originating from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan," the Adani group said in a statement.  This advisory will apply to all terminals operated by APSEZ and including third party terminals at any APSEZ port till further notice, the statement added.

The cash-strapped Taliban have stepped up their illicit drug trade in a desperate attempt to raise more funds which is reflected in the huge quantity of Afghan heroin despatched in shipping containers that was seized at the Mundra port in Gujarat.

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The consignment — with one container carrying nearly 2,000 kg of heroin and another holding nearly 1,000 kg in the guise of talc stone– originated from Afghanistan and was shipped from Iran's Bandar Abbas Port to Mundra.

Afghanistan is the world's biggest producer of heroin, supplying between 80-90 per cent of the drug that makes its way to the streets of large cities in the world.

Heroin production has boomed in Afghanistan in recent years, helping fund the Taliban which returned to power in August. Now with the complete takeover of the country they are finding it easier to move large consignments which are being shipped out of ports in Iran.

The investigation carried out by the DRI has uncovered the involvement of Afghan nationals.

The Adani Group does not want to take any risk as it is difficult to minutely  examine all the containers that come to the port.

India imports dry fruits, resins and vegetable extracts, coffee, tea and spices from Afghannistan; dry fruits, inorganic chemicals, rare earth metals, mineral fuels and bituminous substances from Iran and project goods and aluminium from Pakistan.