Pak-based drug cartel behind 200 kg of heroin seized by NCB

Six Iranian crew members have been arrested under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985

October 07, 2022 09:57 pm | Updated October 08, 2022 09:30 am IST - KOCHI

Indian Navy personnel show 200 kg of narcotics seized from a suspicious vessel in a joint operation with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). The boat, with its crew, has been escorted to Kochi for further investigation.

Indian Navy personnel show 200 kg of narcotics seized from a suspicious vessel in a joint operation with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). The boat, with its crew, has been escorted to Kochi for further investigation.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday said that the Pakistan-based Haji Salim network was behind the source of 200 kg of heroin worth ₹1,200 crore seized from an Iranian fishing boat in a joint operation involving the Indian Navy.

Six Iranian crew members have been arrested under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and the boat was brought to the wharf at Mattancherry here.

“Initially, a Pakistani boat had carried the consignment and it was transferred to the Iranian boat in a mid-sea exchange. The vessel then set sail to Indian waters for further delivery of the consignment to a Sri Lankan vessel,” said Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Operations), NCB.

The seized heroin was found in 200 packets and each of the packets had markings and packing specialities unique to Afghan and Pakistan-based drug cartels. While some of the drug packets had ‘Scorpion’ seal markings, the others had ‘dragon’ markings. Satellite phones were recovered from the vessel.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the seized drug was sourced from Afghanistan and was transported to Pakistan. Efforts to identity and intercept the Sri Lankan vessel did not succeed, according to the NCB.

Agency officials refused to divulge the exact location of the interception of the Iranian boat by the Indian Navy citing “security reasons”. They said that the Haji Salim network was behind the 750 kg of drugs seized from the Gujarat coast in February. The cartel was also responsible for the supply of around 630 kg of heroin seized by the Kochi unit of the NCB in two separate incidents in 2021, they said.

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