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8 arrested in India in connection with heroin haul worth US$2.8 billion

New Delhi – Three Indians and five foreign nationals have been arrested after Indian authorities seized three tonnes of heroin at Mundra port in the western state of Gujarat.

The narcotics arrived in two shipping containers from Afghanistan via Iran’s Bandar Abbas port, according to information released by the Indian Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

The cargo was declared to contain semi-processed talc stones, but detailed examination of the containers led to the seizure of 2,988 kg of heroin, the ministry said.

The drug was topped with talc stones to avoid detection.

India’s top anti-smuggling agency Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had detained the two containers for examination on Sept 13.

Investigations have been conducted in many places, including Chennai, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Mandvi, Gandhidham and Vijaywada.

The authorities have further recovered about 37 kg of narcotics from Delhi and its satellite city Noida.

Four Afghans and one Uzbek national among those arrested so far.

The arrested Indians include the holder of the import-export licence code used for importing the illegal consignment.

Indian media citing investigation officials have identified the importer as Aashi Trading Company based in Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh state.

The seized heroin is valued at US$2.8 billion in the illegal drugs market.

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