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Indian port refuses to handle containers from Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan

The move comes after heroin seizure at Mundra port. (Source: Reuters)

NEW DELHI: India’s largest port operator Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone on Monday announced that it would not handle export and import of container cargoes originating from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan from November 15.

“This trade advisory will apply to all terminals operated by Adani Ports and including third party terminals at any company port till further notice,” Adani Ports said in a statement.

The company did not give a reason for its action. “The port has issued it to the concerned stakeholders,” an Adani Group spokesperson said without giving any other details.

The decision comes weeks after Indian officials seized nearly three tonnes of heroin originating from Afghanistan worth an estimated $2.65 billion from two containers at western Gujarat’s Mundra Port, run by Adani Ports.

On September 16, in a special operation, the DRI seized a large quantum of heroin from two containers, which were declared as containing “semi-processed talc stones”, originating from Afghanistan, and were loaded onto the containers at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port before landing at the Mundra Port in Kutch.

On the seizure, Adani Ports had said that port operators are not allowed to examine containers and the company has “no policing authority over the containers or the millions of tonnes of cargo” that passes through the terminals at its ports.