INDIA. Mumbai: On Friday midnight, a 50 kg heroin worth Rs 350 crore was seized from a Pakistani boat near Jakhau Port in Gujarat in a joint operation by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the Indian Coast Guard.
The heroin was seized, the Pakistani boat, “Al Sakar,” was impounded, and six crew members have been taken into custody. They are being transported to Gujarat’s Jakhau port for further investigation, official sources here said.
The Pakistani crew members were trying to smuggle the massive drug consignment to India. The joint operation was launched as soon as the smugglers entered India’s international waters. They were intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard and Gujarat ATS.
“During the night of October 07/08, on a specific intelligence input, ICG strategically deployed two fast interceptor class of ships, C-429 and C-454, for patrolling in an area close to the notional International Maritime Border Line (IMBL). After midnight, a Pakistani boat was observed moving suspiciously in Indian waters, 5 nautical miles inside the notional International Maritime Boundary Line (IBML) and 40 nautical miles from Jakhau”.
“On being challenged, the Pakistani boat started evasive manoeuvring. However, both the ships intercepted the Pakistani boat and forced it to stop. On boarding the boat, a thorough rummaging was undertaken during which 50 kg of narcotics, believed to be heroine, were found concealed in five gunny bags. The market value of the seized narcotics is estimated to be Rs.350 crore. Throughout the operation, the ICG ships braved very rough seas, pitch-black nights, and marginal weather conditions.”
“The boat is being brought to Jakhau for further joint investigation by all agencies. This is the sixth such joint operation by the Indian Coast Guard and ATS, Gujarat in the last one year and the second such operation in less than a month when 40 kilos of drugs were seized from a Pakistani boat on September 14. Such operations have been a result of effective coordination and synergy amongst security agencies,” an ICG statement read.
The authorities are trying to trace the origin of the narcotic consignment and the six crew members are being questioned to find out who sent the drugs to India. The officials are also trying to find out where the drug consignment was designated to be delivered in India.
Also Read: India Will Buy Oil from Wherever It Has to: Union Minister Hardeep Puri