Pakistan drug lord behind smuggling of heroin to India using Iranian boat: NCB

As per the NCB, the heroin was found in 200 packets which had markings identifying them to Afghan and Pakistan-based drug cartels

Published: 08th October 2022 06:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th October 2022 06:08 AM   |  A+A-

NCB officials and Indian Navy team with the drug consignment seized from Iranian fishing trawler off the Kochi coast

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Pakistan-based drug cartel led by Haji Salim continues to smuggle in large consignment of heroin and charas to India through Arabian Sea as Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday confirmed his role in the smuggling of 200 kg of heroin which was seized from an Iranian fishing trawler off Kerala coast.

NCB deputy director general (Operations) Sanjay Kumar Singh said the latest seizure of heroin from the Iranian fishing boat was valued at `1,200 crore and it was part of one of the many consignments which were being trafficked by the drug network led by Haji Salim to international destinations from Pakistan.

“We could seize the drugs based on an intelligence input that a large consignment of around 400 kg of heroin was on its way from Pakistan to Sri Lanka and India. We coordinated with Indian Navy which intercepted the Iranian boat in mid-sea where it was supposed to transfer the consignment to another boat,” Singh said, adding that the Navy team could nab the six Iranians on board and seize the contraband before the accused could dump the drugs into the sea for destroying evidence. The Navy’s operation was led by Lt Commander P S Sajin.

“This is the third major seizure of drugs smuggled by Haji Salim network to India. In 2021, the same network had smuggled in 337 kg and 300 kg of heroin on two occasions to India and they were seized by NCB Kochi unit,” said NCB zonal director P Aravindhan. As per the NCB, the heroin was found in 200 packets which had markings identifying them to Afghan and Pakistan-based drug cartels.

“While some packets had ‘scorpion’ seal markings, a few others had ‘dragon’ seal markings. The drugs were concealed in water-proof seven-layered packing,” the NCB officers said adding that the drug cartels used to ship the consignments from Pakistan coast in Pakistan fishing boats and later the consignments are transferred to Iranian fishing boats in mid-sea.

“They use Iranian boats because the cartel specifically knows that Indian forces immediately flag the presence of Pakistan boats in Indian territorial waters. “They purposefully deploy Iranians and Iranian boats for carrying the contraband. Once the Iranian boats enter Indian waters, they transfer the contraband to another boat which will be waiting for them at a particular rendezvous point in mid-sea. We have seized a couple of satellite phones and smartphones from the accused. We are verifying the data from the devices. The accused are in our custody and their arrest will be recorded soon,” said NCB officers.


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