The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in a joint operation on Friday night seized around 50kg heroin from a Pakistani boat and apprehended six crew members, said a Gujarat ATS official.

The joint operation was carried out during the intervening night of October 7 and 8, when a Pakistani boat ‘Al Sakar’ was observed moving suspiciously in Indian waters, about five nautical miles inside the notional International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and 40 nautical miles from Jakhau, the official said.

The Indian Coast Guard deployed two interceptor ships, C-429 and C-454, for patrolling the international maritime border.

The boat allegedly tried to evade but the Coast Guard ships intercepted it and forced it to stop. On boarding the boat, the officials found 50kg narcotics, believed to be heroin. The narcotics were concealed in five gunny bags.

The value of the seized narcotics in international markets is estimated to be 350 crore, according to a statement by the Gujarat ATS.

The boat is being further investigated at the port Jakhau in Gujarat, it said.

This is the sixth such joint operation by Coast Guard and the Gujarat ATS in the last one year. It is the second such operation in less than a month when 40kg drugs was seized from a Pakistani boat on September 14.

Such operations have been a result of effective coordination and synergy amongst security agencies, ICG said in a release.

In February this year, a joint operation conducted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Indian Navy led to the seizure of 750kg drugs from a ship off the Gujarat coast, worth over 2,000 crore.

From 2019-2021, the Gujarat police and other agencies have seized contraband weighing 437kg and worth 2,100 crore, and arrested 73 persons.

In the first week of June, nine Pakistani nationals were arrested by the Gujarat ATS, in a joint operation with the Coast Guard, while trying to smuggle heroin worth 280 crore to India.

By Shadab

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