A month after a huge haul of heroin was seized from two of its containers at Gujarat’s Mundra port, Adani Ports on Monday said the terminals it run will not handle cargo from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan from November 15.
“With effect from 15th November, APSEZ will not handle EXIM (Export-Import) containerized cargo originating from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” the group said in a statement, adding that the advisory will apply to all terminals operated by APSEZ and including third-party terminals at any APSEZ port till further notice.
On September 13, around 3,000 kg of heroin was seized from a consignment that had come from Afghanistan, one of the largest illegal producers of opium. The heroin was concealed in jumbo bags said to contain unprocessed talc powder. The drug was placed in the lower layers of the bags and then topped with talc stones to avoid detection, NDTV reported.
An operation by the customs department and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had made the discovery, and the haul was reportedly valued at around Rs 20,000 crore. It led to raids in which eight persons, including Afghan and Uzbekistan nationals, were arrested.
In the wake of the seizure, and as it drew flak, the Adani Group had stated that it had no power to examine containers. “No port operator across the country can examine a container. Their role is limited to running the port… APSEZ is a port operator providing services to shipping lines. We have no policing authority over the containers or the millions of tonnes of cargo that pass through the terminals in Mundra or any of our ports,” the group said in a statement, adding that “we sincerely hope this statement will put to rest the motivated, malicious and false propaganda being run on social media against the Adani Group”.