June 29, 2016 8:37:57 pm
A CBI team conducted an overnight raid on a warehouse in Kandla Special Economic Zone (KASEZ) in Kutch, suspecting contraband was stored there but eventually it turned out on Wednesday that the consignment was a legally imported consignment of Gambier extracts.
A CBI team from Delhi landed on a warehouse owned by Zest Marine Services Private Limited in KASEZ late on Tuesday evening after reportedly receiving a lead that narcotic drug was stored there. The team searched the warehouse till late night and later sealed it.
They resumed operation on Wednesday morning and called forensic experts to decipher what the powder was. The forensic analysis, however, revealed that the powder was Gambier extracts which is used a food additive and chewed with paan and tobacco. It contains tannin which has applications in wood industry and tanneries.
“The CBI team asked us to conduct tests at night. But we told them that was not possible. We took samples this morning, tested them and confirmed that the substance was Gambier extracts,” a forensic officer who was part of the team that conducted tests told The Indian Express.
KASEZ officers said the seal of the warehouse was broken after the CBI team left. “They had sealed the warehouse last night. But as it was confirmed that there was no drug and the consignment was just Gambier extracts, the CBI broke the seal of the warehouse after their exercise got over at 12 pm,” a top officer of KASEZ said.
While CBI officers could not be reached for a comment, Zest Marine Services Private Limited said the premier investigating agency was apparently misled. “The CBI had some information regarding narcotics being there in our warehouse. But the consignment was Gambier extracts imported from Indonesia. The cargo was imported by Baba Woods of Delhi and AK Chemicals. We were just their custodians. Officers of Narcotics Control Bureau from Bhuj also found nothing objectionable with the cargo lying in our warehouse,” Zest Marine Services director Sharad Shetty said.
Shetty added that the the two parties had imported two containers of the extracts and that the consignment was lying in the warehouse since June 22.
Kutch East superintendent of police, Bhavna Patel said the local police was aware of the raid but added that CBI had not shared any information with them formally.
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