Monday, 30th October 2017

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1155kg ketamine seized near Port Blair

Six men were arrested from the vessel, the officer said

By Snehal Sengupta in Calcutta
  • Published 22.09.19, 2:47 AM
  • Updated 22.09.19, 9:45 AM
  • a min read
  •  
The arrested men with the seized drug Telegraph picture

The Indian Coast Guard fired at least 15 shots in the Indian Ocean near Port Blair and intercepted a vessel that was carrying 1,155kg of ketamine, a banned narcotic, a coast guard officer said.

Six men were arrested from the vessel, the officer said.

The officer said they had received specific information that an international drug cartel would transport a large consignment of drugs through the Indian waters. A coast guard ship spotted the vessel that was sailing without a flag.

The coast guard ship asked the vessel without flag through international radio channels to stop. When it kept moving, the coast guard fired at least 15 shots and brought the vessel to a stop.

“The ship tried to evade us... we had to fire in order to bring it to a stop,” the coast guard officer said.

As soon as the vessel stopped a team boarded it and found the drug packed in 57 bags, each of which had 20 packets, in the vessel’s hold.

Coast guard officers took all the members of the vessel’s crew to their ship.

Investigations revealed the vessel was from Myanmar.

“We interrogated the crew and found the consignment was headed to Malaysia. A part of the consignment was meant for Calcutta,” the officer said.

The coast guard alerted the Narcotics Control Bureau, which sent a team to Port Blair where the vessel was taken.

“The vessel was indeed carrying ketamine,” an officer of the bureau said.