The Indian Coast Guard (ICG), acting on a tip-off by ATS Gujarat, apprehended a Pakistani boat with 10 crew in Indian waters carrying arms, ammunition and 40 kg of narcotics worth Rs 300 crore. The fishing boat, Al Soheli, was then brought to Okha for further investigation, the ICG said in a statement.
“The operation was conducted during the night of December 25-26 on specific intelligence input. The ICG deployed its ship ICGS Arinjay near the notional International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) with Pakistan,” the Coast Guard said.
“The ICG team stopped a Pakistani fishing boat Al Soheli and recovered arms, ammunition and around 40 kg of narcotics worth Rs 300 crore,” the statement further said.
This was the seventh such joint operation by the IGC and state ATS this year and the third such operation in three months.
In a similar operation two months ago, the Indian Coast Guard and Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad seized a Pakistani boat, ‘Al Sakar’, carrying 50kg heroin worth Rs 350 crore in the international market and apprehended six crew members near International Maritime Boundary Line.
“It was discovered that the shipment was transported by Mohd Kadar, a major drug baron based in Pakistan. The transaction was going to take place on the high seas. As soon as Gujarat ATS received the information, an operation was launched, and six Pakistanis were nabbed,” Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia was quoted as saying by ANI.
In September, a Pakistani boat was seized six miles inside Indian waters with 40 kg of drugs worth Rs 200 crore.
The state ATS and the Indian Coast Guard has foiled several such attempts of drug smuggling in the past also and caught foreign nationals with huge quantities of narcotics trying to smuggle via the Gujarat coast.
(With inputs from agencies)