The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has now estimated the quantity of heroin seized at a massive three tonnes valued at 19,900 crore in the international market
The cash-strapped Taliban appear to 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.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has now estimated the quantity of heroin, being passed off as talcum powder, at a massive three tonnes valued at 19,900 crore in the international market.
Two persons have been arrested and the investigation has uncovered the involvement of Afghan nationals, the DRI said.
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 consignment — with one container carrying nearly 2,000 kg of heroin and another holding nearly 1,000 kg — originated from Afghanistan and was shipped from Iran's Bandar Abbas Port to Mundra.
The DRI probe, according to officials, revealed that the heroin was imported under the guise of semi-processed talc stones, used to make talcum powder. The consignment originated from Afghanistan. Vijaywada-based Aashi Trading Company was used as a front for bringing in the consignment.
"Searches have been conducted in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chennai, Gandhidham and Mandvi in Gujarat," the agency said in a statement.
With the Afghanistan economy on the verge of collapse and the liberal international aid that was flowing in during the earlier government in Kabul being cut off, the Taliban has become even more dependent on the illicit drug trade.
The Indian Coast Guard had also seized an Iranian boat with a huge consignment of heroin on Saturday night off the Gujarat coast. Although the crew of the boat were all Iranians the heroin had come from Afghanistan.
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