3,300 kg of narcotics caught off Gujarat coast; Five foreigners held

Porbandar: Indian agencies have seized 3,300 kg of narcotics in the highest ever offshore capture and arrested five foreigners from an Iranian boat off the Gujarat coast, the NCB said on Wednesday.

The operation was undertaken in the Arabian Sea along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) jointly by the Navy, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The contraband is suspected to be containing charas, methamphetamine, and morphine.

The NCB and other agencies have busted yet another international drug trafficking network and effected the highest-ever offshore seizure (by quantity) in the country, a senior officer of the federal anti-narcotics agency said.

The five people arrested from the boat are suspected to be either Iranian or Pakistani nationals.

No documents of nationality have been recovered from them, a senior NCB officer said.

The dhow and crew members have been handed over to the law enforcement agencies by the Navy after being apprehended on Tuesday, the officials said.

“Indian Navy in a coordinated ops with Narcotics Control Bureau, apprehended a suspicious dhow carrying almost 3300Kgs contraband (3089 Kgs Charas, 158 Kgs Methamphetamine 25 Kgs Morphine). The largest seizure of narcotics, in quantity in recent times,” a Navy spokesperson said in a post on X.

“Based on inputs from P8I LRMR aircraft on surveillance mission & corroboration from @narcoticsbureau, #IndianNavy’s Mission Deployed warship was diverted to successfully intercept & apprehend the suspicious dhow,” the post said.

“This seizure of drugs is by far the largest in terms of quantity, & was possible through #collaborative efforts of #IndianNavy’s #missiondeployed assets with the NCB. The contraband apprehended boat & crew handed over to the Law Enforcement Agencies at an Indian port #27Feb 24,” it added.

A senior official of the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Tuesday said a large quantity of different types of drugs, including charas (hashish), was seized from a boat during the mid-sea operation off the state coast.

Based on a specific tip-off, the operation was conducted in the Arabian Sea near the International Maritime Boundary Line, he said.