Among the series of high-profile drug busts by security agencies in India, the recent seizure of 200kg of ‘high-quality heroin’ by the Indian Navy stands out for its signature link to Pakistan-based networks.
The large-scale drug bust traces its origins to a Pakistani drug syndicate operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
Indian intelligence agencies have been closely monitoring the activities of the Pakistan-based transnational narcotics trafficking syndicate ‘Haji Sali’ drug syndicate. According to sources, intelligence agencies had received inputs on September 2022 of an Iranian vessel working in the Indian Ocean region on behalf of the Pakistani network.
Based on the leads, the Indian Navy intercepted the Iranian vessel on September 29 approximately 500 nautical miles South West of Male, the capital of Maldives, and recovered 200kgs of ‘high-quality’ heroin. In the bust, six Iranian crew members were also apprehended.
The seizure was a culmination of meticulous tracking of the Iranian vessel and timely sharing of intelligence inputs with the Indian Navy, who intercepted the boat as it was on its way to collect its drug consignment.
This recent seizure is another example of an uptick in cross-border drug smuggling by Pakistani drug syndicates. On October 8, Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad and Indian Coast Guard seized heroin worth ₹350 crore from a Pakistani boat off the coast of Gujarat.
“It was found that a big drug lord based in Pakistan, Mohammad Kadar, had sent the consignment here. The transaction was going to take place on the high seas,” said Gujarat DGP Ashish Bhatia.
In 2022, according to sources in the security establishment a total of 1335 kg of heroin have been seized in joint operations by Indian and Sri Lankan authorities in seven successful counter-narcotics operations on the high seas.