India

NIA claims that Afghan heroin profits were used to fund the LeT in connection with the seizure at Mundra port.

In its third charge sheet filed in the Mundra port drug haul case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) stated on Monday that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives were provided with funds derived from the sale of Afghan heroin smuggled into India via maritime route in order to finance terrorist activities.

Harpreet Singh alias Kabir Talwar, owner of popular Delhi nightclubs including White Club (previously known as Playboy), Jazbaa, and RSVP, who was arrested in August of last year, travelled to Dubai to exploit a commercial trade route to smuggle Afghan heroin into India and used his companies to receive the contraband and remittances, according to the agency.

Monday, before a special court in Ahmedabad, the agency filed its second supplementary charge sheet against 22 individuals and organisations, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir-based operative Mohammad Iqbal Awan, Dubai-based Vityesh Koser alias Raju Dubai, and Talwar.

The NIA filed its first indictment against 16 cartel members on March 14 and its second against nine suspects on August 29 of last year.

On September 13, 2021, a shipment containing 2,988 kg of Afghan heroin was confiscated at the Mundra Port.

In a statement on Monday, NIA cited its investigation and added it has emerged that an organised network of syndicate members was being run by foreign-based narcotic traders for importing heroin-laden consignments into Indian Ports (Mundra, Kolkata), and its further delivery to various warehouses in New Delhi.

“A network of Afghan nationals operating in India was responsible for contracting these warehouses, processing/extracting the heroin, and distributing it after it reached New Delhi.” The investigation determined that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives were provided with monies derived from the sale of heroin in order to further terrorist activities in India.

In addition to Prince Sharma, who was detained alongside Talwar last year, Ishwinder Singh from Panipat (Haryana) and Jasbir Singh from Tilak Nagar in Delhi were also named in the new charge sheet filed on Monday.

Afghan nationals Rah Matullah Kakar (a native of Kabul who resided in South Delhi), Shaheenshah Zaheer (a native of Kabul who resided in Noida), Faridoon Amani alias Javed Amani (Kabul), Abdul Salam Noorzai (Kabul), Mohammad Hussain Dad from Kandahar (Afghanistan), and Mohammad Hasan Shah (Hussain’s brother

Awan, a native of Uri in Jammu and Kashmir who resides in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, is one of the individuals mentioned in the new indictment.

The ED stated that there was an organised criminal conspiracy to smuggle heroin from Afghanistan to India via international trade lines.

“When researching forward and backward links of the crime, a well-oiled network of agents involved in the import, facilitation, and transportation of drug-laden shipments was identified. “It has also been established that shipments were imported through several fake/shell import proprietorship firms set up in India by multiple defendants,” the NIA stated in a statement.

It referred to Talwar as the “primary accused” and stated that he visited Dubai and knowingly participated in the plan to exploit the commercial marine route of import to bring commercial amounts of heroin into India. According to the NIA, he operated clubs, retail showrooms, and import enterprises in New Delhi.

According to the agency, the companies were formed under the names of Talwar’s employees, family, and friends, but were run completely by him. ā€œThese firms were used for importing narcotics, banned items, and receiving remittances in form of legitimate goods in lieu of his role in the smuggling cartel. Over a dozen such firms have been identified and investigated, including the charge-sheeted firm, M/s Magent India. The NIA stated that this company was used to import and receive heroin disguised as semi-processed talc stone from Afghanistan to India.

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