Gujarat ATS arrests 3 for 1,500-kg heroin haul

Gujarat ATS arrests 3 for 1,500-kg heroin haul

Gujarat ATS arrests 3 for 1,500-kg heroin haul

Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Monday is learnt to have detained three persons in connection with the seizure of 1,500 kg of heroin valued at about Rs 3,500 crore from a merchant vessel off Gujarat coast on Sunday.

The detained vessel ‘Hennry’ is learnt to be owned by a person named Saiyad Al Morani, a resident of Dubai who operates his business from Iran. The vessel, though registered in Panama, operated from Iran.

According to sources, the three persons Gujarat ATS picked up from Mumbai and Kolkata. include Sujit Tiwari (brother of vessel captain Surprit Tiwari), Irfan and Vishal. According to sources, Irfan and Vishal were the ones to come and pick up the consignment of contraband substance from mid-sea off Bhavnagar coast. The captain was to receive Rs 5 crore for delivery of the consignment, they claimed.

The sources said that the owner of the vessel apparently called Surprit Tiwari in the first week of July and instructed him to get fabrication of the vessel done at Chabahar Port in Iran. It is here that a big cavity to hide the consignment of heroin was built in the vessel. Initially, they were instructed to ship the consignment to Egypt but later instructed to take it to Bhavnagar. The vessel came into Indian waters via Pakistan, they claimed. The vessel apparently began its journey to Gwadar port in Pakistan. It is here that ISI of Pakistan is learnt to have loaded 1500 kg of heroin.

The intelligence agencies got a whiff of the entire deal when it intercepted satellite phone call between the crew members aboard the vessel and those on shore on July 27.

In one of the biggest drugs haul, an Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ship seized 1,500 kg of heroin valued at about Rs 3,500 crore off Gujarat coast on Sunday, a release by defence PRO had said.

The vessel was intercepted at around 12:00 hrs on July 29 and taken to Porbandar port on Sunday for investigations.

The ATS official said that all the eight crew members on board the vessel were either from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh or Kolkata.

While talking to media persons at Porbandar on Sunday, Commodore Rakesh Pal of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) had said that two satellite phones were also recovered from the eight crew members. “We have extracted call data from one of the seized satellite phones and given that data to various agencies such as ATS and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for further action," he said.

The agencies ATS and NCB are not trying to investigate the matter further to connect the missing dots.

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