Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has arrested a Keralite fruit importer in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, in connection with the seizure of 198 kg methamphetamine worth Rs 1,476 crores. In other words, it is reported to be the largest drug haul in the country. The contraband was seized from a truck carrying imported Valencia oranges. Vigin Varghese is the arrested MD of Yummitto International Foods India. The company imports fruits from South Africa, Brazil, Turkey and other countries.
Vigin said, when interrogated, that the owner of a South African fruit exporting company was the major supplier of the fruits. The man has been identified as Mansoor Thachaparamban, another Keralite, owner of More Fresh Exports SA. During Covid–19 pandemic, Vigin cultivated excellent rapport with Mansoor by exporting masks to Dubai with the help of the latter and importing oranges from South Africa with his help. Their business was in informal manner sans any purchase order. It was said to be a trick to avoid the scrutiny by the government officials. Varghese was keeping 70 % of the profit and Mansoor taking the remainder of 30 %.
Mansoor had formed a firm in Bharat, More Fresh India Private Ltd. In collaboration with Vigin’s brother Jibin Varghese. According to DRI sources, Varghese received Manoor’s call in September regarding the delivery of the oranges; he told that one Rahul would take the delivery. Since fresh fruits were exempted from GST, no e-way bills were generated. When the cartons were being transported, DRI men intercepted. Even though there are reports that the drugs were destined to some consignors abroad and Varghese has reportedly told the DRI officials that he has nothing to do with it, it is very difficult to believe. Because, the religious extremists and terrorists make money for their activities through drug trafficking. Whenever a terrorist activity takes places in any
part of the world, in most cases a Kerala link is traced. Therefore, further investigation alone will tell the world what is what. It is reported that warehouses, in Kerala, belonging to the accused, are being checked by the central agencies.
In the meantime, Air Intelligence in Mumbai Customs arrested a Ugandan woman for allegedly smuggling Rs 10 crore worth 980 grams cocaine, which she had hidden in her innerwear. Mwanie Faridah was arrested when she arrived at Chatrapati Shivai Maharaj International Airport.