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Narcotics worth INR 6 bn on its way to Sri Lanka detected by Indian CG

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The crew members of the boat have been arrested. (Pic courtesy The Indian Express)

Pakistan boat apprehended along with 14 persons

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Sunday (28) recovered 86 kgs of suspected heroin worth INR 6.02 billion from a Pakistani boat, which was on its way to Sri Lanka via Tamil Nadu seas, off the Porbandar coast in Gujarat and arrested 14 crew members, Indian media reported.

The drugs were seized during a joint ICG operation with the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) during which the Indian side opened fire injuring one of the crew members.

According to an official release, ATS Superintendent of Police KK Patel received information that Haji Aslam alias Babu Balock, a drug operative from Pakistan, would be sending a boat named ‘Alraza’ from the Karachi harbour to deliver narcotic substances like heroin and methamphetamine. In the intervening night of April 25 and 26 near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off Porbandar, “the said contraband would be delivered to a dhow from Tamil Nadu to be further delivered to Sri Lanka-based drug operatives,” the release stated.

Later, the joint team of Gujarat ATS and ICG identified a suspicious vessel in the Indian waters 180 nautical miles off Porbandar. “The Indian Coast Guard and Gujarat ATS team that had tried to board the vessel for checking was obstructed by the crew of the suspect boat and to restrain the crew and to stop the boat fleeing, firepower was used in which one member of the crew of the vessel sustained bullet injuries,” the ATS stated.

A search on the suspect fishing boat, which was carrying 14 crew members — all Pakistan nationals, revealed contraband material. This is the biggest Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance seizure in the country during the current Lok Sabha Elections, said the official statement.

All the 14 accused are residents of Lasbela in Pakistan’s Balochistan. The master of the boat, 62-year-old Nazir Hussain Azam Khan who suffered the bullet injury, was evacuated for further medical care. He has been operated upon and is currently stable.

Meanwhile, the boat and its crew members are being brought to Porbandar for further probe.

This is the second operation this week after the NCB and ATS seized mephedrone and other chemical drugs worth INR 3 billion from laboratories in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

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