The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard have in a joint operation, intercepted a “suspicious” boat off the coast of Porbandar in Gujarat on Monday and seized a large quantity of narcotics, suspected to be heroin worth Rs. 600 crores, and satellite phones from it, the Defence Ministry said in a statement today.
Sources have said a terror link has been ruled out.
The ministry said eight Pakistani nationals manning the boat have been apprehended. The vessel is being brought to Porbandar for further investigations.
232 packets of what is suspected to be heroin has been seized, it said, apart from satellite communication phones and global positioning systems “being used to facilitate transhipment of the contraband to another boat.”
It said the operation was launched boat on Saturday based on intelligence inputs, and multiple units of the Coast Guard and the Navy were deployed, including “Indian Coast Guard Ship Sangram along with IN Ship Nirghat and Kondul.”
Extensive aerial searches were undertaken by Coast Guard and Naval aircraft including Dorniers, IL-38 and P8Is, the ministry statement said.
Very early on Monday morning, it said, the Sangram intercepted the boat and it was “apprehended” later in the day.
Three months ago, on New Year’s Eve, a Pakistani boat laden with explosives caught fire and then exploded killing the four crew members on board after it was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard, about 365 km off the Porbandar coast.