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Indian Coast Guard Seizes 1155 kg of Banned Drugs Near Port Blair, Six Myanmarese Arrested

A total of 1155 kilograms of 'Ketamine’, which was kept in 57 gunny bags, were seized from a vessel that was plying from Myanmar to Malaysia.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:September 22, 2019, 1:30 PM IST
Indian Coast Guard Seizes 1155 kg of Banned Drugs Near Port Blair, Six Myanmarese Arrested
Representative image.

Kolkata: Six Myanmarese smugglers were arrested in a challenging mid sea joint operation conducted by Coast Guard, Andaman Police and the officers of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) at Port Blair on Saturday.

A total of 1155 kilograms of ‘Ketamine’, which was kept in 57 gunny bags, were seized from the smugglers’ vessel. Those who were arrested were identified as: Aung Maing, Thuan Win, Win Koko, Min Aung, Kwaw Soeoo and Lin Lin Tun.

Investigation revealed that the smugglers were carrying it illegally from Myanmar to Malaysia through the Indian coastal territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands on September 20. On September 19, 2019, a Coast Guard vessel ‘Rajveer’ found a suspicious vessel, which did not bear a flag, moving through Indian seas around 9.20 pm.

The Coast Guard officers intercepted the vessel's path and stopped the smugglers when they tried to escape. During the operation, the officer fired 15 warning shots in air and forced the smugglers to stop. Around 11 pm, after the interception was successful, the officers embarked the Myanmarese vessel.

During the search, they found suspicious white crystalline substances and immediately alerted NCB Kolkata, who later joined in the probe. It was learnt that the men on board are from Myanmar and were trying to smuggle a huge quantity of ‘Ketamine’ drugs to Malaysia in the small vessel.

On September 21, the smugglers along with the seized items were brought to Port Blair for further investigation. This is one of the biggest ever haul of narcotics drugs being transported through sea routes in recent times in India. Earlier, in 2017, a merchant vessel was apprehended by the Coast Guard in Gujarat for carrying around 1,500 kg of heroin worth an estimated Rs 3,500 crore.

Two key arrests were made in Kolkata in connection to the case and the Panama-registered ship, named MV Hennery, was seized after a three-day operation based on intelligence inputs. The ship was coming from Iran and was bound for Alang in Gujarat.

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