April 19, 2021 12:35:56 am
Days after eight Pakistani nationals were held with 30 kilograms of heroin from a boat mid-sea near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), around 35 nautical miles from Jakhau coast in Kutch, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) said the accused were promised Rs 9 lakh by a Karachi-based handler for smuggling the contraband to Gujarat which was then to be smuggled to Punjab.
According to ATS officials, the eight accused have been identified as Murtaza Yamin Lala (35), Yamin Lala (65), Mustafa Yamin Lala (33),
Nasirullah Yamin Lala (28), Hussain Lala (62), Salemamad Abdullah Lala (70), Mahmad Yasin Malla (39), and Rafiq Ahmad Usman Ali (62), all natives of Karachi in Pakistan. They are currently under 12-day police remand of the Gujarat ATS.
The accused, the Gujarat ATS said, have claimed they were paid Rs 2 lakh in advance and were also assigned “code names”.
“The Gujarat ATS Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bhavesh Rojiya, had received a tip off that a consignment of heroin narcotics is supposed to arrive from Pakistan waters to India, after which a combined operation was conducted and the accused were held. During interrogation, the accused told the ATS that the consignment, in two bags, was first given to Hussain Lala by one Aarif Kutchi in Karachi, who was their handler. Then the consignment was taken by Nasirullah and Mustafa on a motorcycle to the Ibrahim Haidari port in Karachi, where the men stored the drugs in a wooden fishing boat ‘Nuh’, also owned by Aarif Kutchi,” an ATS official said.
The handler had asked the men to deliver the consignment mid-sea, almost 35-40 nautical miles from Indian coast, to a peddler, the official said. “According to Kutchi’s orders, the accused were supposed to refer to the receiver as ‘Haji’ while the receiver would have to address them as ‘Qasim’ as code words. For this task, the men were given Rs 2 lakh in advance by Kutchi and were promised another Rs 7 lakh on completion. Before the accused could hand over the drugs consignment, our team apprehended their boat,” the ATS official added.
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