Watch: Drugs Worth Rs 12,000 Crore Seized From Ship Off Kerala Coast, India

In a massive drug bust, almost 2,500 kgs of methamphetamine with an estimated worth of ₹12,000 crore has been seized from a vessel in India’s waters along the coast of Kerala in a joint operation led by the Narcotics Control Bureau (better known as the NCB) and the Navy, the anti-drug agency reported on Saturday.

NCB mentioned that it was the greatest confiscation of methamphetamine in the nation, and a Pakistani national was detained in association with it. Sharing the seizure details at a press meet, Sanjay Kumar Singh, the NCB Deputy Director General (Ops), said that it was a part of “Operation Samudragupt”, known for targeting maritime drug trafficking that originated from Afghanistan.

This is the third big seizure of maritime trafficking of drugs via the southern channel by the NCB in the last one and a half years, per the agency. As part of the operation, until now, almost 500 kg of heroin, 3,200 kg of methamphetamine, and 529 kg of hashish have been confiscated, it mentioned.

The first-ever seizure in operation was executed in February last year when a joint team of the Indian Navy and the NCB seized about 13 kg of heroin, 529 kg of hashish, and 221 kg of methamphetamine from high seas off the coast of Gujarat, sourced from Baluchistan (in Pakistan) and Afghanistan, per the agency.

Subsequently, an Iranian vessel was intercepted off the Kerala coast in a joint operation by the Indian Navy and NCB in October 2022. In the operation, 200 kg of high-grade heroin, originally sourced from Afghanistan, was reportedly seized, and six Iranian drug traffickers were arrested.

After that, sharing of actionable information in real-time, generated during this operation, with the Maldives and Sri Lanka led to the seizure of hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine and heroin and the arrest of 19 drug traffickers in two operations conducted by Sri Lanka’s navy in December last year and April this year, the agency mentioned.

The agency has further claimed that the most recent consignment of about 2,500 kg of methamphetamine was meant for Sri Lanka, India, and Maldives from Afghanistan.

The drug cache had begun on a “mother ship” – a large vessel dedicated to distributing narcotics to several boats along its journey – from the Makran coast around Iran and Pakistan, it mentioned.

Almost 134 sacks of suspected methamphetamine and other items were salvaged. The Pakistani national was brought to the Mattancherry Wharf and handed by the Navy to the NCB.

The NCB has initiated seizure procedures, and the primary analysis suggests that all packets contain methamphetamine of very high purity per the NCB.

References: NDTV, Indian Express, Free Press Journal

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