In a major drug bust, the Indian Navy has confiscated Rs 3,000 crore worth of contraband from a fishing vessel which was intercepted in the Arabian Sea. According to a statement by the Navy, the narcotic substances, weighing 300 kilograms, are suspected to have originated from the Makran coast in Pakistan. According to the Navy, five people identified to be nationals of Sri Lanka, who were in the vessel, have been taken into custody. It is suspected that the vessel was headed to Indian, Maldivian and Sri Lankan destinations.
The contraband was seized by Indian Navy officials on the Naval Ship ‘Suvarna’, which was on surveillance patrol in the Arabian Sea. "This is a major catch, not only in terms of the quantity and cost, but also from the perspective of disruption of the illegal narcotics smuggling routes, which emanate from the Makran coast in Pakistan and flow towards the Indian, Maldivian and Sri Lankan destinations," the spokesperson said.
Navy officials said that the fishing vessel carrying the narcotics was brought to Kochi on Monday morning. It is presently berthed along the Mattancherry wharf and is under the custody of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). After the seizure, the crew and the vessel along with contraband was handed over by the Navy to NCB. Other investigation agencies have also started a probe into the incident, officials said.
Apart from human costs #drug addiction, spoils of narcotics trade feed syndicates involved in terrorism, radicalisation & criminal activities.— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) April 19, 2021
This was a major catch in terms of qty & cost and also towards disruption of illegal narcotics smuggling routes (a depiction ⬇️) (2/2) pic.twitter.com/neoV2iW7HW
According to an official, the fishing vessel was moving around in a “suspicious” manner in the Arabian sea. "To investigate the vessel, the ship's team conducted a board and search operation, which led to the seizure of more than 300 kg of narcotics substances", he said.
The approximate value of the seizure in the international market is estimated to be Rs 3,000 crore, he further added. Apart from the human costs from drug addiction, the spoils of the narcotics trade feed syndicates involved in terrorism, radicalisation and criminal activities, the spokesperson added.
(With PTI inputs)