The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have intercepted a boat with eight suspected Pakistani smugglers and more than 200 packets of heroin with a street value of Rs600 crore on board, in a joint operation in the international waters near Porbandar off the Gujarat coast. Satellite phones were also seized, the defence ministry said in a statement today.
The vessel was monitored by Indian warships and surveillance planes for several days before being intercepted early on Monday, the defence ministry said. The operation was launched last week on the basis of intelligence inputs.
The Coast Guard apprehended the eight Pakistani nationals manning the boat, which is being brought to Porbander post for further investigation by law enforcement agencies, the statement said.
Coast Guard personnel found 232 packets of narcotics, believed to be heroin and with a street value of Rs600 crore, satellite phones and global positioning systems on the boat. The phones and GPS were being used to ''facilitate trans-shipment of contraband to another boat'', the statement said.
Three warships from the navy and Coast Guard and several surveillance aircraft, including Dorniers, an Il-38 and a P8I, were involved in the operation. The boat was intercepted by the Coast Guard vessel Sangram, which was supported by the naval warship INS Kondul, somewhere between the Jakhau and Porbandar ports.
The incident comes more than three months after a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Coast Guard off the Porbander coast after a chase. The boat exploded and sank with four crew members on board on 31 December last year.
However, unlike that incident, no terrorism motive is suspected in the latest seizure.