In the country’s largest ever drug bust, nearly 2,500 kilograms of methamphetamine worth around Rs 12,000 crore was seized from a vessel in Indian waters off the Kerala coast in a joint operation by the Navy and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
The drugs consignment was loaded to the mother ship from the Makran coast in Pakistan. Based on intelligence reports, the likely route that the ship would take for the distribution of the drug consignment was identified after which an Indian Navy ship was deployed in the region to intercept it.
According to an NCB statement, a Pakistani national was detained in connection with the drug bust after the vessel was intercepted in Indian waters in the Indian Ocean.. The recovered contraband along with the suspect were brought to the Mattancherry Wharf in Cochin on Saturday.
The drug consignment was seized from a “mother ship” which is a large vessel carrying huge quantities of narcotics for distribution to receiving boats along the route. NCB officials, have started an investigation to track down the “receivers” of the consignment.
The NCB statement further said that the source of the drug was the “Death Cresent” which comprises areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran from where most of the drug consignments originate.
The operation was initiated by inputs from sources developed by Naval Intelligence and the NCB. As the assessment is still under way, the actual volume of drugs could be even more,” Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Operations), NCB said at a press conference.
The NCB and Indian Navy are keeping a close vigil on maritime trafficking of drugs originating from Afghanistan under ‘Operation Samudragupt.’
This is the third major seizure by NCB of maritime trafficking of drugs through the southern route in the last one and a half years, the agency said. As part of the operation, so far around 3,200 kg of methamphetamine, 500 kg of heroin and 529 kg of hashish has been seized.