9 held, heroin worth Rs 500 crore seized by security agencies off Gujarat coast

New Delhi: An illegal consignment of narcotic drugs and heroin was seized by Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Marine Task Force (MTF) in a joint operation off Gujarat coast from a boat.

In addition, nine Iranian nationals were apprehended from the boat, the ATS said in a press note issued today.

During interrogation, it was revealed that a Pakistani National named Hamid Malek had sent the consignment, which was loaded in the Iranian boat off Gwadar port of Pakistan. The release said, after apprehending the boat, approximately 100 kg of contraband heroin were seized. The total value of the contraband as per international value was estimated to be Rs 500 crore.

According to the release, BP Rojiya, ACP ATS passed information to his seniors that illegal drugs will be smuggled through coast in Gujarat. As per the information given by the officer, the consignment was sent in Dhow of Iran, to be loaded in Pakistan. The ATS officers contacted ICG and MTF and it was decided to launch a joint operation to apprehend the smugglers and seize the contraband.

The ATS officers boarded Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) of ICG and a joint search began. Commandos of Marine Task Force were kept in boats in territorial waters to help in apprehending the smugglers.

The release further said on the basis of this limited information continuous search operation was undertaken by a joint team of three agencies namely Indian Coast Guard, ATS and Marine Task Force.

As per the release, after more than 24 hours of search, a suspicious boat was identified while making an attempt to communicate in the particular frequency. ICG ship stealthily followed the boat and directed the suspected boat to stop. Instead, the suspected boat made desperate attempts to run away. The ICG ship chased the boat and when apprehension became inevitable, it’s crew set the boat ablaze to destroy any pieces of evidence.

The ICG ship thereafter attempted to extinguish the fire, but due to the presence of 24,000 litres of fuel and few gas cylinders, the fire became uncontrollable and eventually led to the sinking of the boat.