Over 1,500 kg heroin seized off Gujarat coast (Second Lead, changing dateline)

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Porbandar (Gujarat), July 30 (IANS) In the largest single haul of narcotics seized till date, over 1,500 kg of heroin, valued at Rs 3,500 crore, was seized from a ship intercepted and apprehended off the Gujarat coast, Coast Guard officials said on Sunday.

The crew members of the merchant vessel have been arrested and are being interrogated, said officials.

Based on intelligence inputs, the merchant vessel was intercepted by Indian 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.

“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 on Sunday morning for further investigation.

A joint investigation by the Coast Guard, Intelligence Bureau, police, customs, Navy and other agencies is currently underway, officials said.

–IANS

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