A joint team of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) arrested five Pakistani nationals and seized 35 kg of heroin worth Rs 175 crore from a boat mid-sea off Gujarat coast near Jakhau in Kutch on Monday morning.
“ATS Gujarat got information that a consignment was being sent in a Pakistani fishing boat from Pakistan. ATS officials approached the Coast Guard and a joint operation was launched to apprehend the smugglers,” read a statement from the ATS office.
“ATS officials started the mid-sea operation with ICG in fast interceptor boats at Jakhau at 1 am on Monday. Commandos of Marine Task Force and SOG Bhuj-Kutch were kept in boats in Indian waters to apprehend the smugglers. Continuous search operation was undertaken near north west of Jakhau where a suspicious Pakistani boat was located in the Indian waters. When searched the officials found 35 packets of heroin on it. The approximate weight of the confiscated contraband is 35 kg, valuing Rs 175 crore in the international market,” it further said.
The five arrested Pakistani nationals have been identified as Anees Isa Bhatti (30), Ismail Mohammed Kachchi (50), Ashhraf Usman Kutchhi (42), Kareem Abdulla Kutchhi (37) and Abubaqar Ashraf Sumra (55).
“The interrogation of the apprehended accused persons is in progress jointly by all agencies,” said an official of ATS Gujarat.
In 2017, in one of the largest haul of narcotics, the Coast Guard had seized 1,500 kg of heroin worth Rs 3,500 crore from a merchant vessel off the Gujarat coast. In May 2019, the Coast Guard seized a drug-laded Pakistani vessel off Jakhau coast and seized 194 packets containing Rs 500 crore worth of narcotics. In March 2019, the Coast Guard along with ATS, Ahmedabad had seized 100 kg of heroin in a joint operation off the state’s coast.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines