Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) agents intercepted an Iranian fishing boat off the coast of Kochi and found 200 kg of Afghan heroin. An official release stated that six smugglers were detained and brought to Kochi on the ship. Those detained included Pakistani and Iranian nationals.
NCB said it had taken action after receiving specific information about a global drug trafficking organization. Those traveling in the boat did not possess the required identity cards, documents, or fishing licenses.
Officials worked with the Indian Navy to intercept the fishing boat. The cargo was intended to be delivered to a Sri Lankan vessel. According to a preliminary inquiry, the recovered heroin came from Afghanistan and was transported to Pakistan.
In a mid-sea exchange, this shipment was loaded onto the captured ship off the coast of Pakistan. After that, the ship sailed for Bharatiya waters to deliver the cargo to a Sri Lankan ship. There were attempts to locate and stop the Sri Lankan vessel, but it could not be found.
Two hundred packets containing the recovered heroin bore markings exclusive to narcotics cartels with bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan. While some heroin packets were marked with the “Scorpion” stamp, others had “dragon” seals.
Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Operations), NCB, said that the Pakistan-based Haji Salim gang was behind the heroin worth ₹1,200 crores. 750 kg of cocaine confiscated off the Gujarat coast in February was the work of the same network. Additionally, the cartel supplied the 630 kg of heroin that the NCB’s Kochi division confiscated in two events in 2021. Salim is a Pakistani national, an associate of Dawood Ibrahim, and is actively trying to revive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
NCB officials warned that during the past several years, there had been a sharp increase in the trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan into Bharat via the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Kerala has become a hub for drug abuse, and Keralites are accused of running enormous drug cartels.
Last week, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials seized 198kg crystal methamphetamine and 9kg cocaine from a Navi Mumbai warehouse. The contraband was hidden in boxes of ‘Valencia’ oranges imported from South Africa. The confiscated drugs are worth a whopping ₹1,476 crores.
DRI arrested the managing director of Yumito International Food Private Limited, Vijin Varghese, a native of Kalady near Kochi, from Vashi (Mumbai). They are also looking for his partner and alleged kingpin, T Mansoor, a native of Malappuram, who is in South Africa. DRI checked the shipment following a tip-off from international security agencies.
Local media tried their best to whitewash Mansoor’s crimes and ran his interviews. Mansoor blames a Gujarati laborer named Amrit Patel. Mansoor, the accused drug smuggler from Malappuram said he trusted Patel since he was a Hindu and allowed him to load four palettes of goods in his container of oranges. Blaming anything and everything on Hindus, especially Gujaratis, is common among Islamist criminals.
Pakistan-leaning media worked on the victim card of Varghese by quoting his mother. Naturally, she claims that her son is clean.