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Indian Navy, NCB, cops team up to seize 3,300kg drugs from Iranian boat off Gujarat coast

Operation conducted in Arabian Sea near International Maritime Boundary Line and seized drugs were estimated to be worth about Rs 1,300 crore

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui New Delhi Published 29.02.24, 05:56 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The India Navy, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Gujarat police late on Tuesday night seized around 3,300kg of drugs from an Iranian boat off the Gujarat coast in a joint operation, making it the biggest such haul in recent times.

Sources said the operation was conducted in the Arabian Sea near the International Maritime Boundary Line and the seized drugs were estimated to be worth about Rs 1,300 crore.


Based on intelligence received from the Indian Navy’s maritime surveillance aircraft, which was corroborated with inputs from the NCB, a mission-deployed IN warship was pressed into action to intercept the suspicious dhow (sailing vessel) enroute to the Indian waters with sizable contraband.

The IN warship successfully located, tracked and intercepted the suspicious boat at sea.

“In a coordinated operation at sea, the Indian Navy and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) apprehended a suspicious vessel carrying almost 3,300kg contraband (3,089kg charas, 158kg methamphetamine and 25kg morphine),” the defence ministry said.

The ministry said the dhow was spotted at sea near Porbandar by a surveillance aircraft, after which a ship was diverted to intercept the vessel believed to be engaged in drug smuggling.

The boat and its crew were brought to Porbandar port and handed over to the local police, which have launched an investigation, sources said.

“The boarding operations on the dhow resulted in the largest seizure of narcotics, in quantity, in recent times. Subsequently, the boat was towed by the IN warship to the nearest Indian port for handing over the crew and contraband to the law enforcement agencies,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

“This operation is significant, not only in terms of quantity and cost of the seized contraband, but also highlights the collaborative efforts between the Indian Navy and the NCB for disruption of the illegal narcotics smuggling routes, which emanate from the Makran coast and flow towards various IOR countries.”

The successful coordinated mission reaffirms the strong commitment and resolve of the Indian Navy in thwarting the attempts to use the seas as a medium for illegal activities, especially in India’s maritime neighbourhood, it added.

A security official attached to the Union home ministry said the drugs were meant to be delivered in southern states.

Union home minister Amit Shah congratulated the NCB, Indian Navy and the Gujarat police for the “historic success”.

“Pursuing PM Modi Ji’s vision of a drug-free Bharat, our agencies today achieved the grand success of making the biggest offshore seizure of drugs in the nation. In a joint operation carried out by the NCB, the Navy, and the Gujarat Police, a gigantic consignment of 3132kg of drugs was seized. The historic success is a testament to our govt’s unwavering commitment to making our nation drug-free. On this occasion, I congratulate the NCB, the Navy, and the Gujarat Police,” Shah said in a post on X.

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