Mumbai: A Mumbai court today sent eight Pakistani nationals, who were arrested from a boat off the coast of Porbandar in Gujarat earlier this month, to police custody till May 5. The boat was carrying 232 kilograms of heroin, worth around Rs. 600 crore in international market.
“All eight accused have been booked under section 8C, 21, 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Police have to find out where were planning to drop the consignment. This is an international racket and police want to find out to whom the boat belongs and who helped them from India,” state advocate Imran Shaikh told the court.
The court was also informed that the boat had no name and no flag which is illegal.
Sources said a terror link has been ruled out. The satellite communication phones and global positioning systems found on the boat were “being used to facilitate transshipment of the contraband to another boat,” an officer had said. But it is not yet known what was the destination of the narcotics and which boat the Pakistani vessel was trying to contact. The Pakistani boat was brought back to Porbandar for further investigation.
Any case on the sea off the western coast comes under the jurisdiction of Yellowgate Police Station in Mumbai. The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard had been monitoring the boat for a few days before it was intercepted on April 21.
The seizure and arrests came just months after a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard before it exploded and caught fire and sunk with four crew members on board.