The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested three persons and seized 120-kg heroin worth Rs 600 crore from a village in Morbi under the Saurashtra region Sunday night.
The three were arrested from an under-construction single-storey house in the Jinjuda village of Morbi. The heroin was found stacked in cement sacks.
Police said the consignment was allegedly shipped from Pakistan in October last week and was headed to an African country on Indian dhows.
The arrested individuals have been identified as Jodiya resident Mukhtar Hussein alias Jabbar Jodiya, and Jinjuda residents Shamsuddin Saiyyed and Ghulam Husseinmiya Bhagad.
The police said Mukhtar has previous records of smuggling drugs and was even apprehended by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency in 2020 for docking his boat in Karachi. However, he was let off by the Pakistani agencies after he cited the engine failure of his boat, ATS officials said.
Police said Mukhtar and Ghulam had allegedly brought the drug consignment via international waters off the Gujarat coast in the last week of October. As per police, the two accused hid the consignment in the coastal region near Salaya in Devbhoomi Dwarka and had recently moved it to the house of the third accused, Saiyyed, in Jinjuda village.
“Based on intelligence inputs, an ATS team raided an under-construction house at Jinjuda Sunday night and seized heroin worth Rs 600 crore. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the two accused, Mukhtar and Ghulam, received the consignment from a Pakistani boat via sea route. Our investigation has revealed that the consignment was sent by a Pakistan citizen, Zahid Bashir Baloch, who is also a wanted absconder in a drug seizure case,” said Ashish Bhatia, Director General of Police, Gujarat, at a press conference in Ahmedabad Monday.
He added that a fourth person, Isa Rav, Mukhtar’s brother, was in constant touch with Baloch and had exchanged the coordinates for the delivery of the consignment. “The conspiracy was hatched at a Somali canteen in the UAE. The normal modus operandi of such international smugglers is to hand over the consignment to their Indian counterparts who then use their local dhows to ship it to the African coast. However, we have also found that the arrested accused intended to sell parts of the consignment in India as well,” said Bhatia.
Two more accused, including Isa, are wanted in the case, the police said.
The Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has seized narcotics worth Rs 1923 crores in the past six years, as per data revealed by the agency.
According to ATS officials, as many as 18 cases of narcotics smuggling under the narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances (NDPS) act were lodged and 72 accused were arrested from 2015 to 2021. The seized narcotics include heroin, brown sugar, methamphetamine and mandrax.