The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed a second supplementary chargesheet against 22 accused, including six Afghans, over the 2021 seizure of drugs at the Mundra Port in Gujarat.
The probe has found that funds generated through the sale of heroin were provided to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives to further terrorist activities in India, the NIA said.
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The NIA had filed a chargesheet against 16 accused on March 14, 2022. The first supplementary chargesheet was filed against nine others on August 29.
This followed the seizure in Mundra Port of 2,988 kg of heroin sent from Afghanistan through Bandar Abbas in Iran.
Initially, the case was registered by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence’s
Gandhidham unit in Gujarat. It was re-registered by the NIA on October 6, 2021.
The supplementary chargesheet against 22 accused, who also include prime accused Harpreet Singh Talwar alias “Kabir Talwar”, was filed in the special NIA court, Ahmedabad, under the Indian Penal Code, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a NIA spokesperson said.
“During investigation, it was found that there is an organised criminal conspiracy to smuggle illegal consignments of heroin through international trade routes to India from Afghanistan, hatched by the accused,” the official said.
“While investigating forward and backward linkages of the crime, a well-oiled network of operatives involved in the import, facilitation and transport of drug laden consignments has been uncovered… Consignments were being imported through multiple fake/shell import proprietorship firms floated in India through multiple accused,” the official said.
The official said Talwar visited Dubai on multiple occasions and participated in the conspiracy to exploit the commercial sea route in order to smuggle heroin into India.
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“He is running multiple trades in New Delhi, like clubs, retail showrooms and import firms. These firms are opened by Talwar in the names of his employees, relatives and friends (and) are solely operated by him,” the spokesman said.
“These firms were used for importing narcotics, banned items and receiving remittances in form of legitimate goods in lieu of his role in the smuggling cartel.”
The NIA said over a dozen such firms have been identified and investigated, including M/s Magent India.
This company was used to import and receive heroin disguised as semi-processed talc stone from Afghanistan to India, it said.
“During investigation it has emerged that an organised network of syndicate members was being run by foreign-based narcotic traders for importing the heroin laden consignments into Indian ports (Mundra, Kolkata) and its further delivery to various warehouses located at New Delhi,” the spokesperson said.
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“The India-based network of Afghan nationals was responsible for hiring these warehouses and for processing/extracting and distributing the heroin once it reached New Delhi,” the official said.
The “sale proceeds of heroin were provided to operatives of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for furtherance of terrorist activities in India”.
Talwar & Co
Besides Talwar, the others named in the second supplementary chargesheet include Rah Matullah Kakar, Shaheenshah Zaheer, Faridoon Amani alias “Javed Amani”, Abdul Salam Noorzai, Mohammad Hussain Dad and Mohammad Hasan Shah — all residents of Afghanistan.
Other accused named in the chargesheet are Mohd Iqbal Awan of Uri in Kashmir who is currently in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Prince Sharma, Vityash Koser alias “Raju Dubai” and Jasbir Singh of Delhi, Ishwinder Singh of Haryana, Sushanta Sarkar of West Bengal, and Machavaram Sudhakar and Rajkumar Perumal of Tamil Nadu.
(With agency inputs)