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Massive drug haul seized off Gujarat coast in joint naval operation

Massive drug haul seized off Gujarat coast in joint naval operation

A joint operation conducted by the Indian Navy, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), and the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) led to the apprehension of an Iranian boat carrying approximately 3,300 kg of narcotic drugs off the Gujarat coast on Tuesday.

The operation marked a collaborative effort to disrupt illegal narcotics smuggling routes originating from the Makran coast and flowing towards various Indian Ocean Region (IOR) countries.

The seized contraband, valued at an estimated high cost, included 3,089 kg of charas, 158 kg of methamphetamine, and 25 kg of morphine, making it the largest drug haul seizure in recent times, as reported by the Defence Ministry.

The crew of the suspicious vessel, comprising five suspected Iranian nationals, were taken into custody. Notably, they lacked any identification documents, raising concerns about their involvement in the illicit drug trade.

The operation unfolded based on intelligence received from the Indian Navy's maritime surveillance aircraft, which collaborated with inputs from the NCB. A mission-deployed Indian Navy warship successfully located, tracked and intercepted the suspicious dhow en route to Indian waters. The vessel was subsequently towed to the nearest Indian port, Porbandar, where the crew and contraband were handed over to the local police for further investigation.

According to Gujarat Police, the seized drugs were allegedly destined for delivery in southern states of India. A senior officer confirmed the arrest of the five foreign nationals connected to the case, emphasizing the lack of identification documents in their possession.

The Defence Ministry highlighted the significance of the operation, not only in terms of the substantial quantity and value of the seized contraband but also in showcasing the effective collaboration between the Indian Navy and the NCB. The joint efforts aim to disrupt the flow of illegal narcotics from the Makran coast to various IOR countries.

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