New Delhi : A Pakistani boat carrying narcotic substance worth Rs 600 crore was seized by the Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday after two days of relentless search of nearly 200 nautical miles along the International Maritime Boundary Line off the Gujarat coast, a top official said.
Six crew members of the boat were taken into custody, Additional Director General of the Coast Guard VSR Murthy said.
He said a joint team comprising intelligence agencies will interrogate the crew members.
On May 19, the Coast Guard received inputs from the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) about a Pakistani ship trying to enter Indian waters, Murthy said.
A day later, the maritime security agency received similar inputs from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. Following this, the search operation was intensified.
The Coast Guard deployed Aranjay, a fast patrol vessel, two interceptor boats and an aircraft for scanning the sea, Murthy added.
Early Tuesday, the Coast Guard intercepted ‘Al-Madina’, a Pakistani fishing trawler, eight nautical miles inside Indian waters off the Jakhau coast.
“The suspect boat did evasive manoeuvres to avoid getting apprehended. However, they were apprehended despite the rough sea conditions,” Murthy said.
When cornered, the crew on the boat threw the bags containing the suspicious materials in water before being taken into custody, the ICG said, adding that seven bags were retrieved from the water.
“On rummaging the boat, approximately 194 packets of suspicious substance suspected to be narcotics have been recovered which will be further verified by appropriate agencies through chemical analysis,” the Coast Guard said.
“Further rummaging of the boat will be undertaken during joint investigation and interrogation with other agencies,” the maritime agency added.
This is the second incidence in this year when the ICG has seized such a large quantity of heroin from the coast of Gujarat, the maritime agency said.
In March, the ICG, in a joint operation with the Anti Terrorist Squad, had seized 100 kg of heroin.
During the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, terrorists had used the sea route to enter India.
Source : TOI