In an anti-smuggling operation, the Indian Coast Guard seized a drug-laden Pakistani vessel “Al Madina” off the Jakhau coast in Gujarat, official sources said Tuesday. A total of 194 packets, suspected to be containing Rs 500 crore worth of narcotics, were seized.
Acting on intelligence input that a Pakistani fishing boat was waiting near International Maritime Boundary Line to deliver narcotics off Jakhau coast, the Indian Coast Guard dispatched a ship and two fast interceptor boats to apprehend the suspected vessel, said an official statement.
The Coast Guard chased the Pakistani boat and succeeded in boarding it despite rough sea conditions. Meanwhile, the crew of the vessel flung the bags containing the suspicious material into the sea. The boarding party of the Coast Guard ship took the Pakistani crew into custody and managed to retrieve seven bags from water.
Preliminary testing on one of packets using a drug detection kit revealed that it would be containing narcotics substance that would be valued anywhere between Rs 400-500 crore.
The vessel was apprehended following a tip-off by DRI and other intelligence agencies. The seized vessel is being taken to Jakhau or any other Coast Guard station for further investigations. This is the second such seizure on the Gujarat coast in last three months. Earlier in March 2019, 100 kilogram of heroine was seized in a joint operation by Coast Guard and Anti-Terrorist Squad, Ahmedabad.
In a similar operation in July 2017, the Coast Guard had seized one of the largest drug haul ever off Gujarat. The seized Panama-registered vessel was carrying 1,500 kilograms of heroin valued at Rs 3,500 crore.