The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed its third supplementary charge sheet in the Mundra Port drugs haul case related to the seizure of 2,988 kg heroin in 2021. The case was initially registered by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Gujarat in September 2021. With this latest charge sheet, a total of 42 individuals and seven firms have been chargesheeted in the case.
According to the NIA, the consignment was allegedly smuggled into India from Afghanistan via Bandar Abbas, Iran. Pankaj Vaid, also known by the aliases of “Noni Sunaira” and “Sanju Baba”, has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. He is accused of being a part of the organized criminal conspiracy to smuggle illegal consignments of heroin through international trade routes to India from Afghanistan.
The NIA’s investigations further revealed that Vaid facilitated the processing and extraction of heroin and later sold it in the country. The agency took over the investigations on October 6, 2021 and filed a charge sheet against 16 people on March 14, 2022. Subsequently, it filed the first supplementary charge sheet against nine more people on August 29, 2022, and the second against seven firms and 15 individuals on February 20, 2023.
Drug trafficking is a serious problem in India, with a number of international drug cartels and local gangs involved in smuggling narcotics into the country. The government has taken several measures to curb the menace of drug trafficking, including strengthening law enforcement agencies and increasing surveillance at ports and airports.
The NIA is the nodal agency responsible for investigating cases related to terrorism and other serious crimes with national and international ramifications. Its role in investigating drug trafficking cases is crucial in curbing the flow of drugs into the country. The agency has been successful in cracking down on several drug trafficking syndicates in recent years, and its efforts have resulted in significant seizures of drugs and arrests of suspects.