The Indian Coast Gaurd (ICG) busted a huge trans-border drug and illegal arms racket after it seized three boats from Sri Lanka. The boats filled with a huge cache of Narcotics and arms were intercepted at Minicoy Island. The boats that were seized on March 18 have now reached the Vizhinjam, Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. The boats were carrying 300 kgs Heroin worth Rs 3000 crore, 5 AK-47 rifles with 1000 live rounds, informed the Ministry of Defense Public Relations Unit (PRO) in Trivandrum.
Nineteen crew members of the three boats were detained and brought to Vizhinjam for further investigation.
ICG intercepted 3 Sri Lankan Fishing Boats & on rummaging, 300 Kgs Heroin & 05 AK-47 rifles with 1000 live rounds recovered,with estimated value of approx ₹3000 Cr.— PRO Defence Trivandrum (@DefencePROTvm) March 25, 2021
Boats alongwith 19 crew escorted to Vizhinjam,for further joint investigation.@SpokespersonMoD @IndiaCoastGuard pic.twitter.com/DOkKTGmxbA
This operation is being considered as one of the biggest intelligence successes in the country.
According to reports, on March 18, offshore patrol vessels and air assets, including from Goa, intercepted 3 Sri Lankan fishing boats and on rummaging recovered this huge cache of drugs and arms from the boats.
The ICG said in a statement that they received an intelligence input on March 15 regarding a suspicious foreign boat likely to be engaged in drug trafficking in the high seas near the Lakshadweep Islands. Following this and after verification, the ICG launched a coordinated air-sea operation to track these suspicious vessels in the Arabian Sea.
Finally, after intensive maritime and aerial searches of the regions, on March 18, the patrol units finally espied three suspicious boats off the Minicoy Isles and intercepted them.
Upon boarding the vessels and interrogating the crew, the ICG sleuths found their statements to be inconsistent, following which they searched the three vessels thoroughly and recovered 300 kgs Heroin worth Rs 3000 crore, 5 AK-47 rifles with 1000 live rounds.
In a similar operation, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has busted a huge trans-border drug racket and arrested the two Sri Lankan Tamil operatives identified as MMM Nawas and Mohamed Afnas, in January 2021.
The operatives were nabbed from Chennai, where they were living by concealing their real identities. The NCB officials have seized 100 kg contraband valued at Rs 1,000 crore. The agency said that the syndicate was based out of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, however, the mastermind’s appendage was spread across Afghanistan, Iran, the Maldives and Australia.