Wednesday 7 December 2022
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CrimeNIA cracks whodunnit in Mundra Port drug haul case

NIA cracks whodunnit in Mundra Port drug haul case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today arrested Kabir Talwar, a Delhi-based businessman who owns three popular nightclubs — The White, Jazbaa and RSVP — in connection with the Rs 21,000 crore Mundra Port drug haul case, where over 3,000 kg of heroin was recovered. The NIA arrested another businessman in connection with the case: Prince Sharma.

When the incident of drug haul was reported, the leftist media had a field day, blaming industrialist Gautam Adani for the contraband seized from the port identified with his name. Adani had acquired this port at a throwaway price from the Chimanbhai Patel government of the Congress in 1991-92. According to the said section of the media, however, Adani is close to the Narendra Modi dispensation.

The NIA says that Talwar, aka Harpreet Talwar, was the "kingpin on the Indian side". He allegedly smuggled drugs, sold them to different peddlers and sent the money made from them to people in using hawala channels, who in turn funded terror groups. "The arrested accused are a part of an international drug smuggling network involved in smuggling large commercial quantities of heroin from Afghanistan into India. Heroin was being concealed in import consignments of material, such as semi-processed talc, bituminous coal, etc," an NIA officer said.

Delhi-based businessman Kabir Talwar | Instagram/@kabirtalwar

"The accused persons were involved in the import of narcotics through fake/shell import companies and further facilitated its to Delhi-based Afghan nationals involved in purification and distribution of heroin in many states, including Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and UP," the officer said.

Talwar was detained yesterday and questioned by the agency for two days after searches were carried out at multiple locations in Delhi, Kolkata, Punjab and in connection with the drugs bust case. Among the places raided was Talwar’s club in Hotel Samrat and other godowns that he owned.

A source said, "The investigation revealed that the consignments reached some godowns in Delhi. When probed, they were found to be associated with the businessman who owns these clubs. He was questioned and was subsequently arrested."

On 12 September 2021, two containers arrived at Mundra Port from via Iran, holding 38 jumbo bags filled with talc stones. Based on intelligence inputs, investigators of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) checked the containers; three out of the 38 bags contained heroin.

Out of the 18 jumbo bags in the first container, two were found to contain 1,999.58 kg of heroin. Of the 20 bags found in the second container, 988 kg of heroin was recovered from one. The seized high-quality contraband was estimated to be worth over Rs 21,000 crore in the international market.

The NIA has so far arrested 10 people in connection with the case — five Afghans and five Indians. Six others — an Iranian and five Afghans — are still on the run. A detailed charge sheet was filed by the NIA against 16 alleged narcotics traffickers, including Afghan and Iranian nationals.

Talwar has had brushes with the law previously. In March 2021, the had arrested him for allegedly smuggling 21,60,000 sticks of Gudang Garam cigarettes valued at Rs 4.75 crore in Mumbai. The DRI said that Talwar had attempted to smuggle these cigarettes in an import consignment arriving from Dubai.

A graduate of Delhi University, Talwar started his career as a businessman very early with China’s Import-Export fair and subsequently founded the HS Impex Private Limited in 2007. With a penchant for luxury, he went on to own some of the world’s most exorbitant cars within a decade.

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