What has happened?
- In a statement on Monday, Adani Ports and Logistics said it will not handle “EXIM [Export-Import] containerised cargo originating from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan” starting November 15.
- This trade advisory will apply to “all terminals” operated by APSEZ [Adani Ports & SEZ], including third-party terminals at any APSEZ port, the statement went on to add.
- The statement has been issued by Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd (APSEZ) CEO Subrat Tripathy.
- One of the country’s largest commercial port operators, Adani Ports and Logistics has a presence across 13 domestic ports in seven states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.
- In September, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized containers with nearly 3,000 kg of heroin from the Mundra port in Gujarat’s Kutch, managed by Adani Ports.
- Officials had pegged the value of the seizure at an estimated Rs 21,000 crore.
- Imported from Afghanistan’s Kandahar, the containers were addressed to a trading firm based in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh and arrived at Mundra from Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port.
- The contraband was intercepted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on September 11.
- It was revealed that a Chennai-based couple, proprietor of Aashi Trading Firm, registered at Vijayawada, had imported it as semi-processed talc stones.
- The DRI later arrested the manager of the Vijayawada-based trading firm, M Sudhakar, from Chennai.
- In a statement, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) stated,
- “A total of eight persons including four Afghan nationals, one Uzbek and three Indians have been arrested so far.
- The arrested Indian nationals include the holder of the Import Export Code (IEC), which was used to import the consignment. He was arrested from Chennai. Investigations are in progress.”
Special court in Bhuj
- Notably, in its order dated September 26, the special court of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in Gujarat,
- Had expressed the need for the investigating agency Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to investigate that- “What is the role of the authority & officers of Mundra Adani Port while such consignment was registered to import & landed at Mundra Adani Port
- And how management, Authority and officer of Mundra Port was completely under dark and oblivious about the fact of import of such consignment at Mundra Adani Port, wherein contraband Heroin of approx 2990 kg was found.”
- The court had also asked for an investigation into “whether Mundra Adani Port, its Management and its authority has gained any benefits from import of such consignment of NDPS substance at India.”
- On October 6, the Ministry of Home Affairs transferred the case for further probe to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has taken over from the DRI.
What Adani says about the Drugs?
- On September 21, the company issued a statement following social media outrage dragging the company in the drug haul as it runs the Mundra port.
- The company said that the aim behind releasing the statement was to
- “Put to rest the motivated, malicious and false propaganda being run on social media against the Adani Group. APSEZ is a port operator providing services to shipping lines.”
- “No port operator across the country can examine a container.
- Their role is limited to running the port… APSEZ is a port operator providing services to shipping lines.
- We have no policing authority over the containers or the millions of tonnes of cargo that pass through the terminals in Mundra or any of our ports.”
Q) Which port is the largest container port in India?
- Kandla Port
- Vizag Port
- Nhava Sheva
- Mumbai seaport