The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in a joint operation with the Indian Navy has seized 2,500 kg drugs valued at Rs 1,200 crore from a ship off the Kerala coast. One person suspected to be a Pakistani national has been detained in connection with the seizure.
The NCB said in a statement that the seizure was part of its Operation Samudragupt. Based on intelligence inputs, the Navy intercepted a large sea going vessel (Mother Ship) and seized 134 sacks of suspected high purity methamphetamine from it.
The recovered sacks and the suspected Pakistani national have been brought to Kochi's Mattancherry Wharf and handed over to the NCB.
“As the seizure procedures are still underway, the exact quantity of methamphetamine recovered is not clear yet. However, from the number of packets recovered, we estimate it to be around 2,500 kg in conservative estimate,” the NCB said.
The agency said this is the third major seizure carried out by it with respect to maritime trafficking through southern route in the last one and a half years. The NCB further claimed that it is the first time an Indian agency has intercepted a Mother Ship carrying drugs.
As part of the Operation Samudragupt launched in January 2022, the NCB has so far seized 3,200 kg of methamphetamine, 500 kg of heroin and 529 kg of hashish. “The primary objective of the operation is to collect actionable inputs which could lead to interdiction of ships carrying narcotics contraband,” it said.
The agency is also sharing inputs with Sri Lanka and the Maldives.