INDIA. MUMBAI: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) apprehended the Pakistani Boat “ Al-Haj” with a 09 crew, on the Indian side of the Arabian sea carrying heroin worth approx Rs 280 crore in an operation on Sunday.
The boat was impounded, the contraband seized and the crew was taken into custody on Monday. The heavier boat, “ICGS Ankit,” was diverted for towing assistance in the vicinity. It was brought to Jakhau Port, located in the Kutch district of Gujarat, on Monday afternoon.
“In a joint Ops with ATS #Gujarat, India Coast Guard Ships apprehended Pak Boat Al-Haj with 09 crew in the Indian side of the Arabian sea carrying heroin worth approx 280 cr being brought to #Jakhau for further investigation,” ICS twitted.
The ICG officials said that the Coast Guard and ATS intercepted the boat ‘Al Haj’ based on intelligence inputs, which had ventured into Indian waters. The boat attempted to return to Pakistan after throwing away several packets of narcotics into the sea.
The packets were recovered, and the ICG boat began a hot pursuit of the Pakistani vessel. The Pakistani boat failed to comply with all warnings. As such, the warning shots were fired across the hull to stop the fleeing boat. It was finally stopped. One crew member of the boat was injured, while two others sustained minor bruises.
According to ICG sources, the heroin seized was from Afghanistan, and the help of the Narcotics Control Bureau is being sought for the further perusal of the case. The detainees have been brought to the Gujarat ATS office for further investigation. One smuggler has been identified as Mustafa from Karachi.
This is not the first time a Pakistani boat has been apprehended for sailing illegally in Indian waters, as smugglers from Pakistan have kept trying to use the Gujarat coast as a transit route to transport narcotics to their destination in the last few years.
The Pakistani boats straying into Indian waters are involved in poaching or smuggling. On January 08, in an overnight operation, the ICG had apprehended 10 Pakistani nationals aboard the Pakistani boat “Yasin,” sailing 6-7 miles inside Indian waters from the Arabian Sea off Gujarat coast. Two tonnes of fish and 600 liters of fuel were recovered from the vessel’s deck.
Also Read: Emmanuel Macron Plans to Return to Domestic and Foreign Policy Work after Re-election