Nine Iranians were held along with 100 kilograms of narcotics off the coast of Gujarat on Tuesday in a joint operation launched by the Marine Task Force (MTF), the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Gujarat.
The operation commenced in the wake of inputs received from ATS, Gujarat on March 24 regarding an illegal consignment of heroin, likely to be smuggled through a dhow from Iran, an official press release said.
It also revealed that the consignment was loaded in Pakistan and destined for Gujarat. A team of ATS embarked on an Indian Coast Guard Ship for the mission while communication frequencies were constantly monitored by the ATS personnel.
After an extensive search of more than 24 hours, the suspicious dhow was intercepted on March 26 March by the ICG ship off Gujarat coast. On being challenged, the suspicious dhow resorted to evasive tactics to avoid apprehension, the release said.
On realising that apprehension by ICG was inevitable, the crew set the dhow on fire to destroy the evidence. In a daring Joint Boarding Operation, the ICG and ATS team boarded the dhow and apprehended nine Iranian crew along with the recovery of 100 kg of heroin, it said.
The ICG ship thereafter attempted to extinguish the fire on board the dhow. However, due to the presence of a large quantity of fuel and few gas cylinders, the fire became uncontrollable and, consequently, the dhow sank.
The apprehended crew along with the consignment have been brought to Porbandar by the ICG ship and handed over to MTF, Gujarat for further action, the release added.
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