In a significant development highlighting the relentless efforts of Indian security agencies to combat drug smuggling, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) successfully intercepted a Pakistani boat named Al Sakar and seized heroin worth Rs 350 crore off the coast of Gujarat. This joint operation, which occurred during the night between Friday and Saturday, marks the second such incident within a month. The effective coordination between the ICG and ATS has resulted in multiple successful operations in recent times, underscoring their commitment to curbing the drug trade in the region.
The Joint Operation and Capture
The collaborative operation by the ICG and ATS commenced on the night of October 7 and 8 when they observed a suspicious movement of a Pakistani boat within Indian waters, violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). The boat was spotted approximately 40 nautical miles away from Jakhau, five nautical miles inside the IMBL. As the Pakistani boat attempted to evade capture through evasive maneuvers, two fast interceptor class ships, C-429 and C-454, deployed by the ICG intercepted and compelled it to halt.
Seizure of Narcotics and Apprehension
Following the interception, a meticulous search of the Pakistani boat revealed the presence of 50 kg of narcotics concealed within five gunny bags. The estimated market value of the seized drugs amounts to an astounding Rs 350 crore. Additionally, all six crew members of the boat were apprehended and taken into custody. Further joint investigation by relevant agencies will shed light on the source, route, and network associated with this illicit drug trade.
Coordination and Success
This operation marks the sixth collaborative effort between the ICG and ATS within the past year. The success of these operations can be attributed to the effective coordination and synergy among the security agencies involved. As emphasized in a release by the ICG, the joint efforts have proven instrumental in apprehending drug smugglers and preventing illicit substances from entering the country. The close collaboration between the ICG and ATS is a testament to their dedication in protecting the maritime borders of India.
Previous Drug Seizures in Gujarat
The recent seizure of drugs from the Pakistani boat near Mundra Port is not an isolated incident. It is part of a broader effort to tackle drug smuggling in the region. In September of the previous year, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) confiscated a staggering 3,000 kg of heroin, believed to have originated from Afghanistan and valued at around Rs 21,000 crore in global markets. This seizure at the Mundra Port in Gujarat’s Kutch district stands as the largest-ever haul of heroin in India to date.
Furthermore, in April of this year, the DRI seized 205.6 kg of heroin worth Rs 1,439 crore from a container near the Kandla Port in Kutch. In May, another significant discovery occurred when the DRI uncovered 56 kg of cocaine, estimated to be worth roughly Rs 500 crore, in a container near the Mundra Port. Adding to the list, in July, the ATS seized 75.3 kg of heroin valued at Rs 376.5 crore from a container near the Mundra Port. These incidents underline the persistent efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat drug trafficking in Gujarat.
In conclusion, the interception and seizure of drugs worth over Rs 350 crore from the Pakistani boat Al Sakar near Mundra Port by the Indian Coast Guard and the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad is a significant achievement in the fight against drug trafficking. These joint operations reflect the commitment and effectiveness of the security agencies involved in safeguarding the nation’s borders. The continued success of such operations will require sustained efforts, strengthened intelligence networks, and collaboration among national and international stakeholders. By disrupting the drug trade, we can protect our communities, save lives, and create a safer and more secure future for all.