345 kg heroin seized from Mumbai port

New Delhi, Sep 21: The Special Cell unit of Delhi Police has seized 345 kilogram heroin soaked in licorice roots from Mumbai port, officials said on Wednesday.
The total international value of the seized contraband has been estimated to be around Rs 1,725 crore, they said.
On September 3, police had arrested two Afghan nationals Mustafa Stanikzai, 23, and Rahimullah Rahimi, 44, recovering from them 312.5 kg methamphetamine and 10 kg “high purity” Afghan heroin, a senior police officer said.
The accused after a sustained interrogation told police about a consignment of licorice roots which was stored at Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai, the officer said.
It was found that among other bags, licorice roots in 17 of them were soaked with heroin, to the extent that each 1 kg carried 350 to 400 grams of heroin, totalling 345 kg.
The total weight of the licorice roots consignment was 20,000 kilogram, police said.
On Friday, a police team was sent to Mumbai, which was able to locate the consignment.
It was learnt during the preliminary examination by the authorities, that the entire consignment had already been checked and in the process, the bags had got damaged and the licorice roots were found strewn inside the container, police said.
Police inspected each and every stick of the 20,000-kg heavy consignment, and observed that the colour of some of the sticks of was darker than others.
The team later detected heroin in all sticks that were darker in colour, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) HGS Dhaliwal said.
According to police, the consignment was first transported from Afghanistan to a neighbouring country, from where it was shipped to another middle-eastern country to avoid detection by the agencies, police said.
From there, the consignment containing the contraband blended with legitimate import goods and was further shipped to JNPT, Mumbai, they said.
The consignment was supposed to reach makeshift factories in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and other states just in time for its further extraction and processing to get the final product – heroin, police said. (PTI)

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