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Afghan heroin worth Rs 1,200 crore seized from Iranian vessel | Kochi News


KOCHI: Based in Pakistan Haji Salim the drug syndicate behind the sale of 200kg of heroin seized from an Iranian ship in the high seas through a coordinated operation of Drug Control Bureau (NCB) and Indian Navythe senior officers of the NCB said here on Friday.
Heroin seized from an Iranian fishing boat is estimated to be worth Rs 1,200 crore on the illegal market.
During a press conference, Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy General Manager (Ops) of NCB said the input the agency received was that this shipment was provided by the Pakistan-based carrier Haji Salim. This network has been involved in sending heroin shipments to countries including India for many years. He said that NCB had made seizures in the past also in which shipments came from the Haji Salim network.
He said that under such mode of transportation, the shipment would start from Pakistan and a Pakistani boat would carry the goods to the middle of the sea. After that, the Iranian boat will receive the shipment and go to Sri Lanka. The network prioritizes Iranian vessels as enforcement agencies are on high alert for illegal shipments through Pakistani vessels.
“During this shipment, a Pakistani boat was carrying the goods and the exchange took place across the sea from the Pakistani boat to the Iranian boat, the boat was eventually seized,” he said. The shipment that was delivered to a Sri Lankan vessel has yet to be traced.
He said a lot of credit goes to the Indian navy for successfully intercepting this boat from the deep sea in a daring operation. He added that part of the shipment will arrive in India later.
The NCB has also seized the crew’s satellite phones and smartphones, and the data is being analyzed. “Heroin has always been from Afghanistan. This Haji Salim network and others based in Pakistan are basically controlling the entire human trafficking in the region,” he said.
The official added that the main motive is to make money. So far, the agency has not found any terrorist links in the case, he said.
Forfeited Afghan Heroin were found in 200 packages and each had special branding and packaging specifically for drug cartels based in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some packages have a ‘Scorpion’ mark while others have a ‘dragon’ mark. It is also a seven-layer waterproof packaging.
All six crew members have been confirmed to be Iranian and they are being questioned and their arrest will be documented once their roles are established, officials said. Officials said there were two similar cases in 2021, in which 300 kilograms of heroin and 337 kilograms of heroin were seized by police. NCB Kochi where the same network has joined.
NCB said Southern Line heroin trafficking from Afghanistan, i.e. from Afghanistan to the Makran coast of Iran and Pakistan and then onward to various countries in Indian Ocean regions including India have gained prominence over the past few years. It said the operation was the result of the agency’s efforts to disrupt networks involved in such transnational trafficking.

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