The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) caught hold of a merchant vessel carrying about 1,500 kg of heroin off the coast of Gujarat. Eight Indians who were present on the vessel have been taken into custody.
The boat was brought to Porbandar on Sunday, the elaborate operation was anchored by ICG ship 'Samudra Pavak' and Indian Navy's 'Ankit'. This is being touted as the single largest drug haul till date. (dnaindia.com)
Post operation, the investigation is being jointly conducted by the ICG, Intelligence Bureau, Police, Customs and the Indian Navy. (dnaindia.com)
The sequence of events
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. (deccanherald.com)
The vessel was spotted around 380km off Dwarka through surveillance mounted by the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), a government intelligence-gathering agency. (hindustantimes.com)
According to Defence PRO Abhishek
The drug was to be transported in smaller portions to Mumbai and Jaipur from Alang. While Mumbai serves as the transit point for the southern markets of Bengaluru and Hyderabad, it's Jaipur for Delhi and surrounding markets. (dnaindia.com)
Similar incidents of smuggling have taken place in and around India.
In the previous year, Maharashtra police confiscated 18.5 tonnes of the banned drug Ephedrine in Solapur, valued at Rs 2,000 crore. (hindustantimes.com)
Similarly, Goa police had arrested a 45-year-old Briton in 2013 after more than 4kg of amphetamines were seized from him. (hindustantimes.com)
In a similar incident in Sri Lanka in the last year, authorities seized 800kg of cocaine worth Rs 4,000 crore from an India-bound ship which had sailed from Ecuador, at the Colombo port. (hindustantimes.com)
According to Indian law, smuggling or possession of narcotics is a non bailable offence.