Porbandar (Gujarat), July 30 In one of the largest single haul of narcotics, over 1,500 kg of heroin, valued at Rs 3,500 crore in the international market, was seized from a ship off the Gujarat coast, the Coast Guard said on Sunday.
The crew members of the merchant vessel have been arrested and are being interrogated, said Coast Guard officials. The ship has been seized.
Based on intelligence, the vessel was intercepted by Coast Guard ships Samudra Pavak and Ankit around noon on Saturday. The heroin was concealed in a horizontal pipe on the top deck, an official statement said.
“This is the largest single haul of narcotics substances till date,” the statement said.
“The search operation for the suspect vessel at sea was commenced by the ships and aircraft of the Coast Guard on July 27,” it said, adding a vast area of the sea was kept under continuous surveillance.
“The movements of all ships in the area including the suspect vessel were minutely observed throughout till its apprehension along with eight crew members by Indian Coast Guard ships on July 29,” it said.
The ship was brought to Gujarat’s Porbandar port on Sunday morning for further investigation.
A joint investigation by the Coast Guard, Intelligence Bureau, police, Customs, Navy and other agencies was on, the officials said.