DRI seizes 52 kg cocaine worth over Rs 500 crore under Operation Namkeen
New Delhi, May 27, 2022
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has recovered 52 kg of cocaine, estimated to be valued at over Rs 500 crore in the international illicit market, from an import consignment that landed at Mundra port in Gujarat from Iran.
"On the basis of extensive data analysis and field surveillance, intelligence was developed by DRI that certain consignments being imported from Iran were likely to contain narcotic drugs. In order to interdict the narcotic drugs, 'Op Namkeen' was launched by DRI and a consignment, declared to contain 1,000 bags of common salt having gross weight of 25 MT, which had been imported at Mundra port from Iran, was identified for detailed examination," a press release from the Ministry of Finance said.
The release said that, acting on the intelligence, the consignment was examined for three days from May 24-26.
"During examination, some bags were found to be suspicious, as a substance in powder form having distinct smell was found in these bags. Samples were drawn from those suspected bags and testing was conducted by officials of Directorate of Forensic Sciences, Government of Gujarat. The testing confirmed the presence of cocaine in these samples. Thus far, 52 kg of cocaine has been recovered by DRI. Examination and seizure proceedings under the provisions of NDPS Act, 1985 are in progress. Roles of various persons involved in the said import consignment are also being investigated by DRI," the release said.
According to the release, in the fiscal year 2021-22, during its operations across the country, DRI had seized 321 kg of cocaine, which is valued at over Rs. 3,200 crore in the international illicit market.
"In the last one month, DRI has booked some significant cases, including recoveries of 205 kg of heroin from a commercial import consignment of gypsum powder at the Kandla port, 395 kg of yarn laced with heroin at Pipavav port, 62 kg heroin at Air Cargo Complex, Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi and 218 kg of heroin off the coast of Lakshadweep Islands (in a joint operation with Indian Coast Guard). In addition, 61.5 kg of gold has been seized from Air Cargo Complex, IGI New Delhi in a novel modus operandi involving concealment of high purity gold in triangle valves of metal taps.
"DRI’s ability to effectively detect and affect such seizures acts as a deterrent to those attempting to compromise India’s economic frontiers. DRI remains committed to continuing its relentless crackdown against the perpetrators of such crimes," the release added.