Six of the Pakistani nationals among the eight intercepted by navy and coast guard on April 18 with a huge quantity of heroin, come from extremely poor backgrounds from the Sindh province of Pakistan, the police said. They were allegedly coaxed by two middlemen who, too, were apprehended in the joint operation carried out by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard.
The middlemen, identified as Mohammad Yusuf and Maqsood Akhtar, as per directions from the drug dealers, scouted for men from extremely poor economic backgrounds near a fishing harbour in Karachi, said the police.
The middlemen first identified a person who used to work as a cook on the boat, and asked him to find more men who needed money and where willing to ferry a consignment. “The middlemen had offered 50,000 rupees each in Pakistani currency to carry the consignment,” said additional commissioner of police (south), Krishna Prakash.
The money promised was to be given to the crew members once they delivered the consignment, and returned to Pakistan, the police said.
The dealers who had sent the heroin have been identified as Shaukat and Zafar, natives of Sindh. They had recruited the middlemen and had given them satellite phones to stay in touch.
The six men recruited were told that they were to ferry a consignment of chemicals and did not know about the drugs. “Although they were suspicious about the packages they did not have any idea of a drug called heroin,” Prakash said.
Although the accused told the police that the boat was supposed to go towards Dubai and not India, the police are highly suspicious as the boat could not come so deep towards the south if it was going to Dubai.