The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in an air-sea coordinated operation on March 15 recovered heroin of Rs 3,000 crores from a Srilankan vessel in Lakshadweep sea. According to Krishnaswamy Natarajan, Director General of the Indian Coast Guard the operation was done close to Minicoy Island and the Coast guard has recovered five AK-47 rifles with 1000 live rounds and 300 Kg of heroin.
“On March 15, intelligence input was received regarding a suspicious boat of foreign origin likely to be engaged in drug trafficking in the Arabian sea. On receipt and corroboration of input, a swift air-sea coordinated operation by the Indian Coast Guard was launched immediately to detect the suspicious boats,” DG said. “Based on the information, five ships were immediately diverted and an operation was conducted with aircraft in and around that area,” DG further said.
“Our dedicated search team has recovered 300 kg of Heroin, 5 AK-47, 1000 live rounds from the vessel, joint interrogation will be done today by agencies,” he added. According to the coast guard, patrolling ICG units detected three suspicious boats off Minicoy Islands and intercepted them upon which recovery was made from Sri Lankan Fishing Boat Ravihansi. The estimated value in the international market of the narcotics recovered is approximately Rs 3000 crore. All the three boats along with the 19 crew were escorted to Vizhinjam in Kerala for further joint investigation.
“This is the second major anti-drug trafficking operation undertaken by ICG on the west coast of India within a fortnight. On March 5, ICG ships and aircraft, in a coordinated operation in Lakshadweep seas, had successfully apprehended Sri Lankan boat Akarsha Duwa with 6 crew off Minicoy island. The crew had admitted of carrying 200 kg of high-grade Heroin and 60 kg Hashish which was jettisoned at sea on the sighting of ICG ships on patrol,” Coast Guard said in a press release.
In a similar operation in Nov 2020, ICG had apprehended Sri Lankan boat Shenaya Duwa off Kanyakumari, carrying 120 kg narcotics worth approximately Rs 1000 crore and five weapons. “The past one year has proved to be a big setback for drug traffickers at sea as ICG has successfully seized about 1.6 tons of narcotics worth approx Rs 4900 crore. The total drug haul done by ICG since inception amounts to Rs 10,952 crore,” the release said.