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India seizes $2.7 billion Afghan heroin haul amid Kabul takeover chaos By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A poppy plant in Jalalabad Province, Afghanistan on April 17, 2014. REUTERS/ Parwiz

By Sumit Khanna and Zeba Siddiqui

AHMEDABAD (Reuters) – Indian officials said on Tuesday they had seized nearly three tonnes of heroin originating from Afghanistan worth an estimated 200 billion rupees ($2.72 billion) amid the chaos following last month’s takeover of the country by the Taliban.

Afghanistan is the world’s biggest illicit opiate supplier, but since taking power, the Islamist Taliban have said they plan to ban the drug trade, without giving details on how.

An official from Gujarat stated that two people were arrested for the incident. Investigations are ongoing. The official declined to identify himself as he wasn’t authorized to talk publicly.

According to the official, two containers were seized by India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on September 15th, after DRI received intelligence that they had narcotics.

Officials said that the containers were brought in by Vijayawada (a southern coastal city) to be used as a source of narcotics.

“The involvement of Afghan nationals has been revealed by the investigations so far. These are being investigated.”

Officials from DRI declined to comment.

Two people were arrested for trying to obtain an import-export license based upon a Vijayawada address. The drugs were heading towards Delhi.

According to the Gujarat official, semi-processed Afghan talc had been used in the containers. They were shipped from Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port to Gujarat Mundra port. Further forensic testing confirmed that the container contained heroin.

India has seen one of the largest heroin hauls. It seized more than 2,988kg of heroin.

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