In a sensational mid-sea operation jointly conducted by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Gujarat’s Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) off Gujarat coast, nine Iranian nationals who were reportedly smuggling 100 kg of heroine worth ₹500 crore through sea route were nabbed on Wednesday.
The contraband was sent by one Pakistani national. “The interrogation of nine Iranian nationals from the smuggler’s boat revealed one Pakistani national named Hamid Malek had sent the consignment, which was loaded in the Iranian boat off Gwadar port of Pakistan,” a press release issued by the ATS stated.
According to the details, the ATS had received intelligence that a huge consignment of drugs was being smuggled in an Iranian boat through the sea route from Pakistan. After the intelligence inputs, the ATS, jointly with ICG and Marine Task Force, launched the operation in an ICG ship off Porbandar coast in Gujarat.
“After more than 24 hours of search, a suspicious boat was identified while making an attempt to communicate in the particular frequency. ICG ship stealthily started following the boat. ICG ship directed the suspected boat to stop,” the release added.
“Instead, the suspected boat made desperate attempts to run away, but was unsuccessful. ICG ship chased the boat and when apprehension became inevitable, its crew set the boat ablaze to destroy the evidences.”
However, the ICG and Marine Task Force commandos cornered the boat and apprehended nine smugglers. They also managed to take possession of 100 kg of contraband from the boat, which eventually sunk due to heavy load of fuel and gas cylinders on board.
“The receiver of the consignment is also identified by ATS and will be apprehended soon. The boat/ dhow which was supposed to receive the consignment from the smuggler’s boat is also identified. Necessary legal action will be initiated against them,” the ATS said in its release, sharing details of the entire operation.
A joint media briefing by ATS and ICG is expected at ICG headquarters in Porbandar on Wednesday evening when more details regarding the joint operation will be shared by the agencies.