NEW DELHI: The Coast Guard apprehended a Myanmarese boat with banned contraband approximately 125 nautical miles East of little Andaman on Friday, December 20.
Six crew members with more than 300 kgs of a banned substance were apprehended in the second such incident in the last three months.
Deputy Inspector General Operations HJ Singh said, “The Coast Guard (CG) in a swift sea - air coordinated operation Indian Coast Guard Ship Aruna Asaf Ali apprehended Six Myanmarese personnel with banned contraband approximately 125 nautical miles East of Little Andaman. The Myanmarese boat was detained for violations under the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act, 1985.”
As per the CG, at about 1200 hrs on 20 Dec 19, CG Dornier sighted a non-Indian vessel operating east of little Andaman. The Vessel was not responding on VHF. ICGS Aruna Asaf Ali, on patrol, was diverted for investigation. At about 1800 hrs on 20 Dec19, Aruna Asaf Ali sighted the boat 125 nautical miles from the nearest land, Little Andaman. The vessel failed to stop on being challenged by the ship. The Ship fired 03 warning shorts in air and forced the vessel to stop, said the Coast Guard.
At 1815 hrs the ship’s boarding party embarked the vessel. The vessel was found to be of Myanmarese origin with six crew on board. Since the vessel was plying in Indian waters carrying unidentified items suspected of being contraband, the vessel was apprehended along with its crew.
DIG HJ Singh told, "A total of 250 packets weighing 01 kilograms each (approx) and 106 packets weighing 500 gms each (approx.) were recovered. The total weight of the contraband was assessed to be 371.6 kilograms." Each packet contains a suspicious white crystalline substance. The ship carried out preliminary investigation with the available drug detection kit and found that the substance is a banned drug Methaqualone. Further, the crew failed to produce any supporting document, he said.
The ship entered Port Blair along with apprehended boat and crew at 0800 hrs on 22 Dec 19. NCB team ex-Kolkata carried out the preliminary investigation and reported that the substance is believed to be banned drug Methaqualone.
In last three months, this is the second catch of contraband during an independent operation conducted by Indian Coast Guard at sea in Andaman and Nicobar Region.
In September also Coast Guard Ship Rajveer had seized a Myanmarese vessel carrying 1,160 kilograms of contraband drugs worth Rs 300 crore in the Indian Ocean region and taken into custody, six crew members.
The sustained efforts of Indian Coast Guard have resulted in apprehension of the seventh boat involved in the violation of various laws within the India EEZ in last six months.