The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested one more person in connection with the seizure of nearly 3,000 kg of heroin at the Mundra port in Gujarat in September last year, an official said today.
Sushanta Sarkar, a businessman from Malda district of West Bengal, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the illegal supply of heroin into India for supporting terrorist activities, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.
Sushanta Sarkar is the 26th accused arrested in the case pertaining to the operations of one of the largest international drug smuggling syndicates, run by Afghan brothers Hassan Daad and Hussain Daad, who are wanted by the NIA.
According to the NIA, the Daad brothers have delivered multiple heroin consignments to India through containers via maritime route.
The heroin was purified in Afghanistan and then concealed in other materials such as semi-processed talc and bituminous coal, the NIA said, adding these consignments were then sent to Indian ports of Gujarat and Kolkata and further to New Delhi via trucks.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 2,988 kg of heroin, smuggled from Afghanistan, from a container freight station at the Mundra port in Gujarat on September 13 last year, and registered a case.
The NIA re-registered the case on October 6, the official said.
The NIA said the latest arrest was made on Tuesday and "the accused is an important part of the criminal conspiracy. He had ordered a heroin-laden shipment of semi-processed talc from Afghanistan to India via Iran in November."
"He (Sushanta Sarkar) used his firm 'Jesus Christ Impex' for the said purpose. He further transported the consignment to the firm of another accused, Kabir Talwar, in New Delhi. The consignment was unloaded by members of the heroin smuggling syndicate who are charge-sheeted in the instant case," the spokesperson said.
The agency has already filed a charge sheet in a special court in Ahmedabad against 16 persons on March 14, and a supplementary charge sheet against nine more accused on August 29.
Earlier, the NIA said its investigation revealed a vast and widespread network of drug-traffickers, international facilitators and conduits, importers using fake or shell companies, distributors and local wholesalers and retailers, who are operating a huge international drug smuggling racket from many countries, including Afghanistan, Iran and the UAE.
It said the investigation conducted so far has revealed that five consignments of heroin-laden goods were imported to India between November 2020 and September 2021.
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