Five Iranian nationals arrested in ‘largest ever’ drug seizure off Gujarat coast

In a statement, Navy said that in a 'coordinated operation with NCB', it apprehended a dhow carrying 3,300 kg of narcotics.
Last Updated 28 February 2024, 05:59 IST

Ahmedabad: In one of the largest seizure of narcotics in recent times, five Iranian nationals were arrested for allegedly carrying over 3,300 kg of narcotic substance in a mid-sea joint operation by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Indian Navy and Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) off the Gujarat coast on Tuesday.

In a statement, Navy said that in a "coordinated operation with NCB", it apprehended a dhow carrying 3,300 kg of narcotics, out of which 3,089 kg was charas, 158 kg methamphetamine and 25 kg morphine. The estimated value of the entire consignment, officials said, could go up to Rs 2000 crore in the international market. 

It added that it was the largest drug haul in recent times in terms of quantity. The execution of the operation was undertaken by NCB and ATS officials. The navy had deployed its P81 long-range maritime surveillance aircraft.

The unregistered dhow was intercepted about 60 nautical miles off Porbandar coast. The consignment is reported to have originated from Chabahar port in Iran. NCB officials in Delhi said that smuggling had Pakistan connection as the heroin has been recovered from packets that had the stamp of "Ras Awad Goods Co, produce of Pakistan".

ATS sources said that the consignment was to be delivered to Tamil Nadu. 

Union home minister Amit Shah termed the operation "historic" in a post on X (earlier Twitter).

The post read, "Pursuing PM @narendramodi Ji's vision of a drug-free Bharat our agencies today achieved the grand success of making the biggest offshore seizure of drugs in the nation. In a joint operation carried out by the NCB, the Navy, and the Gujarat Police, a gigantic consignment of 3132 kg of drugs was seized. The historic success is a testament to our govt's unwavering commitment to making our nation drug-free. On this occasion, I congratulate the NCB, the Navy, and the Gujarat Police."

Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi also congratulated the teams and stated on X, "Under the guidance of PM Shri @NarendraModi  ji and the leadership of HM Shri @AmitShah  ji, this operation strengthens the commitment to a drug-free Bharat.

(Published 28 February 2024, 05:59 IST)

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