NCB seizes 200 kg of Afghan heroin from Iran fishing vessel off Kochi coast

The Narcotics Control Bureau has seized 200 kg of Afghan heroin from an Iranian fishing vessel off the Kochi coast. Six Iranians were arrested and brought to Kochi along with the boat, said an official release.

The NCB said it had acted on specific inputs on an international drug trafficking organisation dealing in Afghan heroin and intercepted the fishing boat in a joint operation with the Navy. The consignment was meant to be handed over to a Sri Lankan vessel.

According to the NCB release, the drug was sourced from Afghanistan through Pakistan. “This consignment was then loaded into the seized vessel off the Pakistan coast in a mid-sea exchange. The vessel then set sail to Indian waters for further delivery of the consignment to a Sri Lankan vessel. Efforts were made to identify and intercept the Sri Lankan vessel. However, the same couldn’t be traced yet,” it said.

The seized heroin was found in 200 packets and each of the packets had markings and packing specialties unique to Afghan- and Pakistan-based drug cartels, the NCB said. While some of the drug packets had “scorpion” seal markings, the others had “dragon” seal markings. The drug had a waterproof, seven-layered packing.

The NCB said the trafficking of Afghan heroin into India through the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean had exponentially increased over the past few years. The southern route for trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan, from Afghanistan to the Makran coast of Iran and Pakistan and then onwards to various countries in the Indian Ocean Region including India, has gained prominence over the past few years. “Efforts have been made by the NCB to identify and disrupt the entire networks involved in such transnational trafficking of heroin,’’ its release said.

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