The Adani Ports said today that the terminals it runs will not handle cargo from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan starting November 15. The move came after a huge drugs haul in Gujarat. “With effect from 15th November, APSEZ will not handle EXIM (Export-Import) containerized cargo originating from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” the group said in a statement. This advisory will apply to all terminals operated by APSEZ and including third party terminals at any APSEZ port till further notice, the statement added.
On September 13, around 3,000 kilograms of heroin was seized from two containers at Gujarat’s Mundra port, run by the Adani Group. The consignment had come from Afghanistan, one of the largest illegal producers of opium.
The heroin was concealed in jumbo bags said to contain unprocessed talc powder. The drug was placed in the lower layers of the bags and then topped with talc stones to avoid detection.
The seizure — made during a joint operation by the Customs department and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence — was valued at around Rs 20,000 crore, sources had said.
It also triggered a series of raids across the country in which eight persons, including Afghan and Uzbekistan nationals, were arrested.
Following wide criticism on social media over the drugs haul, the Adani Group had said it had no power to police and examine containers.
In a statement released soon after, the Adani Group said: “No port operator across the country can examine a container. Their role is limited to running the port… APSEZ is a port operator providing services to shipping lines. We have no policing authority over the containers or the millions of tonnes of cargo that pass through the terminals in Mundra or any of our ports.”
“We sincerely hope that this statement will put to rest the motivated, malicious and false propaganda being run on social media against the Adani Group,” the statement had added.