The consignment of heroin weighing nearly three tonnes, confiscated at Gujarat's Mundra port was intended to reach Delhi and not Vijayawada, a senior Andhra Pradesh Police official said on Monday. The heroin was seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), and is worth an estimated Rs 270 crore, suggest reports. Vijayawada Police Commissioner B Sreenivasulu's clarification came amid reports that a city-based firm is under probe by the DRI in connection with the drug haul.
The DRI reportedly seized 2,988.22 kilograms of the banned substance with an estimated street value of Rs 2.7 billion at Mundra Port on Wednesday. The contraband originated from Afghanistan and was being shipped from Iranâ€™s Bandar Abbas Port under the disguise of talc stones packed in two containers.
The GST number used for consignment allegedly belongs to Aashi Trading company, a company registered in Vijayawada, with its office on Gadiyaramvari Street at Satyanarayanapuram. The company was only registered in 2020 for exporting rice through Kakinada port, reported Deccan Chronicle. The newspaper reported that the address had been used to import 25 tonnes of talc powder blocks in July this year. Sreenivasulu, however, says that only the address of the firm was used for shipping purposes by the miscreants and not the actual owners of the company.
The Police Commissioner said that on verification with the investigating agencies, it was learnt that Govindaraju Durga Purna Vaishali, a resident of Chennai, had taken GST registration in August 2020 on the address D No 23-14-16, Satyanarayanapuram. Machavaram Sudhakar, a resident of Chennai, is the husband of Vaishali. The building is owned by Vaishali's mother Govindaraju Taraka.
"It is learnt that Vaishali has taken an import and export license (IEC Code) from the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for export and import purposes. It is also learnt that both wife and husband (Sudhakar and Vaishali) have been residing in Chennai for the past many years," he said.
"The smuggled heroin in the guise of talcum powder that landed at Mundra Port was intended to reach Delhi, but not to Vijayawada as alleged in some sections of the media. So far, no activity except using the Vijayawada house address for obtaining above licenses has come to notice. However, further enquiries are being conducted," he added.
It was learnt that investigating agencies conducted raids and searches in Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Chennai.
(With IANS Inputs)