AHMEDABAD: The Coast Guard and Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad have seized heroin worth Rs 350 crore from a Pakistani boat off the state coast and apprehended its six crew members, officials said on Saturday.
The ICG and ATS personnel seized the boat Al Sakar, which had 50 kg heroin on board, in the Arabian Sea. The operation was conducted during the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, they said.
The boat with six crew members on board was brought to the state’s Jakhau port for further investigation, they added.
A release issued by the ICG said the joint operation was carried out during the intervening night of October 7 and 8, when a Pakistani boat was observed moving suspiciously in Indian waters, five nautical miles inside notional International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and 40 nautical miles from Jakhau.
“On being challenged, the Pakistani boat started evasive manoeuvring. Two fast interceptor class of ships – C-429 and C-454 – deployed by the ICG for patrolling in areas close to the IMBL, intercepted the Pakistani boat and forced it to stop,” it said.
Following a search of the boat, 50 kg of narcotic was found concealed in five gunny bags. The market value of the seized drug is estimated to be Rs 350 crore, it said, adding that the boat was brought to Jakhau for further joint investigation by all agencies along with the six crew members, who were apprehended.
This is the sixth such joint operation by the IGC and state ATS in the last one year and second such operation in less than a month when 40 kg drugs was seized from a Pakistani boat on September 14.
Such operations have been a result of effective coordination and synergy amongst security agencies, the ICG said in a release.
In September last year, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized nearly 3,000 kg of heroin, believed to have originated in Afghanistan and worth about Rs 21,000 crore in global markets, from two containers at the Mundra port in Kutch district of Gujarat. It is said to be the single largest heroin haul in India so far.
In April this year, the DRI had seized 205.6 kg heroin worth Rs 1,439 crore from a container near the Kandla port in Kutch, while in May, it had recovered 56 kg of cocaine, estimated to be worth around Rs 500 crore, from a container near the Mundra port. In July, the ATS had seized 75.3 kg of heroin estimated to be worth Rs 376.5 crore from a container near the Mundra port. PTI