Gujarat coast emerges as drug mafia hub; BSF recovers abandoned packets regularly

Intelligence agency sources suggest that it wouldn't be surprising to find more drugs along the Kutch coastline, as drugs discarded into the sea are likely to wash ashore with the waves.
The Indian Navy, in a joint operation with the NCB, seized a boat carrying nearly 3,300 kg of drugs off the Coast of Gujarat in February 2024.
The Indian Navy, in a joint operation with the NCB, seized a boat carrying nearly 3,300 kg of drugs off the Coast of Gujarat in February 2024.FILE Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: In recent months, the Gujarat coast has emerged as a hot spot for drug smuggling activities as Border Security Force (BSF) patrols continue to seize narcotics in successive operations along the Sir Creek area in the Kutch region.

According to officials, the BSF on Thursday seized narcotics worth Rs 150 crore from the Sir Creek area, including packets containing synthetic drugs, heroin, and cannabis.

This marks the second instance within a week that unclaimed drug packets have been found in the area. Earlier this week, BSF patrol units recovered and seized 120 drug packets in the same location.

A senior BSF official stated that for the past month, reports of 10 to 20 drug packets being discovered on Kutch beaches have been received almost daily. Now, the question is from where these drugs worth crores of rupees come on the beach, he wondered.

Meanwhile, intelligence agency sources suggest that it wouldn't be surprising to find more drugs along the Kutch coastline, as drugs discarded into the sea are likely to wash ashore with the waves.

"Similarly, drugs worth crores were recovered in August 2023," they added.

These sources attribute the trend to the drug mafia in Iran and Afghanistan. They believe that with increased offshore patrolling by the Navy and Coast Guard, smugglers may abandon their consignments in the sea, only for them to reach the coastline with the waves.

In January 2024, a boat transporting drugs worth crores was intercepted in the maritime area of Iran. The maritime security agency approached the boat, prompting the drug mafia to throw the packets overboard.

"When the boat reached the middle of the sea, the maritime security agency noticed it. The team of the security agency tried to go near the boat full of drugs. Seeing them nearing, the drug mafia threw the packets containing drugs worth crores from the boat into the sea," said a source in the intelligence agency, adding that it appeared that drug packets are gradually reaching the coastal area with the sea waves.

Last month, various security agencies recovered over 250 drug packets from the West Kutch-Bhuj area, valued in the international market at crores.

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