Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], March 25 (ANI): The Sri Lankan boat that was seized by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) with narcotics and arms at Minicoy Island on March 18, reached Vizhinjam on Thursday, said the ICG.
According to the ICG, The Coast Guard ships and aircraft conducted an extensive search in the area of Lakshadweep Islands.
On March 18, 21, patrolling ICG units detected three suspicious boats off Minicoy Islands and intercepted them. Post boarding, interrogation of the crew revealed inconsistent statements, said the ICG.
It further said, on rummaging of boats, high-grade 300 Kgs Heroin and 05 AK-47 rifles with 1000 live rounds were recovered from Sri Lankan Fishing Boat Ravihansi.
The estimated value of Narcotics in the international market is approx Rupees 3000 Crore and all the three boats along with 19 crew were escorted to Vizhinjam, Kerala for a further joint investigation, it informed.
This is the second major anti-drug trafficking operation undertaken by ICG on the west coast of India within a fortnight.
On March 5, 21, ICG ships and aircraft, in a coordinated operation in Lakshadweep seas, had successfully apprehended Sri Lankan boat Akarsha Duwa with six crew off Minicoy Island, said the ICG.
It stated that the crew had admitted to carrying 200 Kgs high-grade Heroin and 60 Kg Hashish which was jettisoned at sea on the sighting of ICG ships on patrol.
In a similar operation in Nov 2020, ICG said it had apprehended Sri Lankan boat Shenaya Duwa off Kanyakumari, carrying 120 Kg Narcotics worth approx Rs 1000 Cr and five weapons.
The past year has proved to be a big setback for drug traffickers at sea as ICG has successfully sized about 1.6 tons of narcotics worth approx Rs. 4900 Cr and The total drug haul done by ICG since inception amounts to Rs. 10,952 Crore, it said.
As per the ICG, the back-to-back successful anti-narcotics operations is the testimony of a smooth and cohesive flow of information between various Government agencies and ICG.
This setup has resulted in robust detection and response mechanism coupled with the unwavering commitment of ICG which has kept at bay the nefarious designs of Anti National Elements of exploiting our maritime zones for malicious intent, it added. (ANI)