India seizes 3,300kg of narcotics off Gujarat coast

Five suspects, thought to be Iranian, were arrested during raid on dhow in Arabian Sea

The drugs were seized off India's western coast in a joint operation by the Indian Navy, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad. Photo: Indian Navy
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Indian authorities have seized more than three tonnes of narcotic drugs from an Iranian boat off the coast of Gujarat state, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

The boat was intercepted in the Arabian Sea near the city of Porbander on Tuesday in a joint operation by the Indian Navy, the Narcotics Control Bureau and Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad, the ministry said.

Five men thought to be Iranian citizens were arrested.

“Based on intelligence received from the Indian Navy’s maritime surveillance aircraft which were corroborated with inputs from the Narcotics Control Bureau, a mission-deployed Indian Navy warship was pressed into action to intercept a suspicious dhow en route to the Indian waters with sizeable contraband,” the ministry said.

The Indian Navy said drugs seized included more than 3,000 kilograms of cannabis resin, or charas, 158kg of methamphetamine and 25kg of morphine, calling it the "largest seizure of narcotics in quantity in recent times".

Gujarat's ports have been increasingly used by drug traffickers and smugglers for shipping contraband.

In 2022 police found 75kg of heroin worth more than 3.5 billion rupees ($44 million) in a container near Mundra, the country's largest commercial port.

The previous year authorities intercepted three containers at the port with almost 3,000kg of heroin.

Updated: February 28, 2024, 10:36 AM