The Navy and Indian Coast Guard in a joint operation seized a suspicious boat allegedly carrying above 140 kilograms of heroine off Porbandar coast on Monday. The officials have arrested eight sailors on board and recovered Satellite phones from the boat.
Kuldip Singh Sheoran, Commander Coast Guard (North West) said, “The boat has been intercepted close to Porbandar coast. The operation is, however, going on at the sea for verification of the sailors and contraband and will be informed in detail after verification process is over.”
The Navy had received the intelligence input that a suspected boat from Pakistan is entering the Indian waters off Porbandar coast and launched an operation to intercept it. The ICG ship ‘Sangram’, a Samar-class off shore patrol vessel intercepted the boat around 150 nautical miles off Porbandar coast, officials said.
The two boats ‘Fatima’ and ‘Fiza’ were seen close to Porbandar coast and during the search on ‘Fiza’, the officials found the contraband. The officials earlier stated that only four suspects found in boat Fiza were arrested. However, the officials also arrested four on board of the other boat ‘Fatima’ later during the verification process, the officials further said.
The officials said the contraband was stored in boxes loaded with empty boxes on top. When the naval officers checked the boat, the sailors on board tried to hide the contraband. However, when a massive search was initiated, the contraband was found, said the officials.
They added that three Satellite phones were found from the boat the interceptions of which were procured by the Navy. The two phones have been last used near Porbandar where the location was traced by the officials. The intercepts of the Satellite phones will be thoroughly probed by the agencies after the seizure.
The contraband is estimated to be worth over Rs. 280 crores as per the international market value however the exact evaluation of the contraband is under process. The international value of one kilogram heroine is Rs 2 crores.
The arrested sailors alleged to be from Pakistan will be brought to Porbandar for a joint interrogation by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, the officials added.
The Central Intelligence Bureau had shared intelligence input on a possible terror attack in Gujarat last week stating following which the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Gujarat Police were on alert.
Two days back, the intelligence inputs were received by agencies about two suspected boats entering the Gujarat through Porbandar coast for an alleged intrusion in Gulf of Khambhat. The marine police stations and marine commandos deployed at the 1600 kilometers coastline of Gujarat were put on alert.