Adani Ports, India’s largest port operator, has said its terminals will stop handling all containers to and from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan from November 15.
While the group did not explain the rationale for the ban, the announcement comes after Indian officials seized nearly three tonnes of heroin worth $2.65bn originating from Afghanistan last month. The drugs were discovered in two containers at at western Gujarat’s Mundra Port, run by Adani Ports. The shipment originated in Afghanistan, where it was declared as talc stones. It was shipped to Mundra from Iran.
Afghanistan accounts for more than 80% of the world’s poppy production and there are signs that heroin shipments are on the rise since the Taliban retook charge of the country two months ago with much of the illicit product shipped via India. Another heroin bust took place over the weekend with the authorities finding a stash of the illicit substance in a container at Mumbai port.
“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.
Adani has concessions at 13 ports on both coasts of India and has recently won a concession to develop a terminal in Colombo, the capital of neighbouring Sri Lanka.