Kochi: 200 Kg Heroin Worth Rs 1,200 Crore Seized From Vessel, 6 Iranians Arrested

In a joint operation, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Indian Navy seized an Iranian fishing vessel with around 200 kg of heroin worth over Rs 1,200 crore on Friday. The NCB said six Iran nationals were arrested.

“The NCB has now seized the vessel and 200 kg of heroin. The six Iranian crew members have also been arrested under relevant sections of the NDPS Act, 1985,” said Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (operations) of the NCB.

During interrogation, the accused confessed that they are from the Konarak area of Iran, Singh said at a press conference. He further said that three smartphones were seized from those arrested and no links with any terrorist were found yet.

The heroin was found in 200 packets that had markings and packing specialties unique to Afghanistan- and Pakistan-based drug cartels.

“While some of the drug packets had ‘Scorpion’ seal markings, the others had ‘dragon’ seal markings. The drug was also packed in a waterproof seven-layered packing. Preliminary investigation revealed that the seized drug was sourced from Afghanistan and was transported to Pakistan. This consignment was then loaded into the now-seized vessel off Pakistan coast in a mid-sea exchange,” the NCB said.

Singh said the heroin consignment was supplied by Pakistan-based Hadi Salim network, which supplies charas, methamphetamine to India and other countries in Indian ocean, ANI reported.

The NCB said the vessel was supposed to deliver the consignment to a Sri Lankan vessel.

Singh said the accused tried to escape by jumping into the sea and also tried to dump the consignment into the waters.

The NCB said trafficking Afghan heroin into India through Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean had increased massively over the last few years.

“The southern route for trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan i.e. from Afghanistan to Makran coast of Iran and Pakistan and then onwards to various countries in the Indian Ocean Region including India has gained prominence over the last few years,” Singh said.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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