₹1,000-crore heroin seizure: Firm owner, 2 aides arrestedUpdated: Aug 10, 2020 23:44 IST
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which busted an international narcotics racket and seized 191.6kg of heroin worth ₹1,000 crore from an imported container at Nhava Sheva, have arrested the owner of the import company that had ordered for the narcotics to be smuggled from Afghanistan to India. Two aides of the owner have also been arrested.
Suresh Bhatia of Sarvim Exports Ltd, Delhi, was arrested and brought to Mumbai on Monday, along with accused Mohammed Nauman and Mahendra Nigam. Sarvim Exports Ltd company’s Import Export Code (IEC) was used for smuggling the drug under the pretext of ‘Mulethi’.
Nigam looked after the logistic support on the instructions of Nauman. Nauman is a key lieutenant of Bhatia and was looking after the entire import and transportation-related work for him.
DRI probe has revealed that Suresh Bhatia has past criminal antecedents. He was convicted in the year 2008 case for smuggling 1,200kg of hashish. He completed his sentence under the charges of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Mohammed Nauman too has past criminal antecedents.
The probe has so far revealed that Nauman had given the custom clearing work and transportation of the consignment to Meenanath Bodake and Kondibhau Gunjal. Both have been arrested in the case on Saturday and presently are in judicial custody.
Bodake, a Nerul, Navi Mumbai resident, is a partner in MB Shipping & Logistics Solution, a Customs Broker firm which was facilitating the clearance of the imported consignment having the Container number INKU2267955.
Bodake was facilitating the custom clearance on Nauman’s instructions to whom he was introduced by his relative and Mumbra resident Gunjal.
Nauman had entrusted Gunjal with customs clearance work, and later for arranging the transport of the smuggled item. He was promised hefty sum as commission if he facilitates safe and timely delivery of the consignment, investigations have revealed.
Gunjal had been in touch with Nauman since June 2019 and he was very much aware of the fact that the Heroin was being smuggled, sources said.
“Bodake and Gunjal have helped the drug racket for clearing the consignment containing the banned drug. Their role in the crime is clear. They have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a court,” said Jitentra Mishra, the special public prosecutor for DRI.
The investigations in the case is on and Bhatia, Nauman and Nigam are being thoroughly questioned. Their phone call details would also be analysed to probe if more people are involved, sources said. The three would be produced in court on Tuesday.