Officials from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had recently seized a huge haul of 2,998 kg of heroin, estimated to be valued at about Rs 21,000 crore, from the Mundra port in Gujarat.
The heroin was found concealed in the import consignment of 'Semi-processed talc stones' originating from Afghanistan, which had arrived from the Bandar Abbas Port, Iran.
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The NIA said that on Tuesday, it conducted searches at five places in the national capital, including residential premises and wearhouses at Lajpat Nagar, Alipur, Khera Kalan and Noida in connection with the seizure of semi-processed talc stones with contraband drugs imported by M/s Aashi Trading Company.
"During the searches, various incriminating documents, articles and items were seized," an NIA official said.
The three Indians arrested in the case so far include the holders of the Import Export Code (IEC), which was used to import the consignment. M. Sudhakar and his wife Durga Vaishali, who allegedly ran Vijayawada-registered Aashi Trading Company, which had imported heroin declaring the consignment as 'talc stones', were arrested from Chennai by DRI officials.
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The DRI had earlier said the heroin was concealed in jumbo bags meant to contain unprocessed talc powder. The heroin was placed in the lower layers of the bags, which had talc stones on the top to avoid detection. Resultantly, the heroin had to be painstakingly separated from the talc stones.