Nearly three tones of heroin, produced in Afghanistan and shipped from Iran has been seized at the Mundra Port in Gujarat, on India’s western coast.
The Afghanistan heroin, worth an estimated US$2.72 billion (200 billion rupees), was found in two containers last Wednesday following a tip-off, according to Indian Government sources.
Two people have been arrested in connection to the haul, both are Afghan nationals, who had recently applied for an import-export licence using a home address in Vijayawada – a port city on India’s eastern coast.
The containers were shipped from the Bandar-Abbas Port in Iran under the guise of containing semi-processed talcum powder stones from Afghanistan.
It’s believed the seized heroin was bound for Dehli. .
The Bandar-Abbas port, which is Iran’s biggest, is a well-known port of origin for heroin shipments.
Afghanistan remains the centre of the global heroin trade and it could get worse.
When the Taliban took control of country in August, Islamic leaders vowed to stop the drug trade. However, many experts are sceptical.
“The Taliban are drug traffickers as much as they are self-described Islamist militiamen,” says Giadda Ferruci, an academic at the University of Western Sydney.
“Most likely, Afghanistan will remain a huge illicit opiate supplier, producing more than 90 per cent of the world’s heroin. Controlling the country will also offer the Taliban access to airlines, the state bureaucracy and banks, facilitating the opium trade and money-laundering.
“As the Taliban, warlords and corrupt public officials vie for drug profits and power, it will fuel even more instability in the country.”
It’s currently estimated that six to 11 per cent of Afghanistan’s GDP can be attributed to the Heroin trade.
This map of estimated heroin flows from Asia to the world is from the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime.
Smaller Afghanistan heroin shipment seized on Sunday
4 days after the almost-three tone seizure, the same Indian anti-terrorism police squad took control of an Iranian fishing vessel off the coast of Gujarat.
30 kilograms of Heroin was discovered which is also believed to have originated from Afghanistan.
Seven Iranian nationals were arrested during the mid-sea raid.