NCB makes narcotics seizure in high seas, 800 kg recovered from a vessel

Updated on Feb 13, 2022 04:36 AM IST
After scouring the ocean for hours this week, the NCB and Indian Navy ship noticed two boats outside India’s EEZ, which is 200 nautical miles from the coast.
The NCB found 525 kg of very high-quality hashish and 234 kg of finest quality crystal Methamphetamine, which officials said cost around <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2,000 crore in the international market, from the boat. (SOURCED.)
The NCB found 525 kg of very high-quality hashish and 234 kg of finest quality crystal Methamphetamine, which officials said cost around 2,000 crore in the international market, from the boat. (SOURCED.)
ByNeeraj Chauhan, New Delhi

In a first-of-its-kind operation conducted by it, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), in association with the Indian Navy, has seized about 800 kg of drugs worth 2,000 crore from a vessel tracked in the high seas beyond India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Arabian Sea, people familiar with the development said on Saturday.

The NCB had specific intelligence that two large boats carrying huge quantities of drugs were en route to India from the Arabian Sea towards Gujarat or Mumbai.

An operation was launched by the Operations unit of the NCB led by deputy director general (DDG) Sanjay Kumar Singh in collaboration with the Indian Navy to track these boats in the high seas.

After scouring the ocean for hours this week, the NCB and Indian Navy ship noticed two boats outside India’s EEZ, which is 200 nautical miles from the coast.

Realising that the Indian navy boat was chasing them, the smugglers allegedly abandoned one of the boats and fled in another one.

The NCB found 525 kg of very high-quality hashish and 234 kg of finest quality crystal Methamphetamine, which officials said cost around 2,000 crore in the international market.

NCB director general SN Pradhan said – “It is the first such operation in NCB’s history or other investigation agencies when the seizure has been made in the high seas. A lot of planning and coordination has gone into the operation and it is a huge catch.”

A senior officer who didn’t want to be named said the boat found in the high seas had some inscription in ‘Urdu’.

The intelligence suggests that the drugs were sent from Pakistan and were meant for India.

In another major drug haul, the NCB said on Saturday, it has arrested 22 people including software engineers, a financial analyst, an MBA graduate and one of their own personnel for running a pan-India drug trafficking network that uses the ‘dark net’ and crypto currency to courier narcotics.

Three major markets – identified as ‘DNM India’, ‘Dread’ and ‘The Orient Express’ – running on the dark net have been identified in the four-month long operation in several states including Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Punjab, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Rajasthan.

NCB’s DDG (North) Gyaneshwar Singh said the recreational drugs were being sourced from countries like the USA, UK, Netherlands and Poland using courier services and also the India Post network.

“The network was busted after a long operation that was initiated after a drug parcel was intercepted by us in Kolkata. Our special investigation team that conducts cyber patrolling to check the usage of dark net has busted three big networks being run in the country using the dark net, anonymous crypto currency transactions and pseudonymous social media profiles,” Singh said.

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