The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India and the Indian Navy have seized 2.5 tonnes of methamphetamine headed to three South Asian countries, including Maldives.
The seizure was part of Operation Samudragupt, targeting maritime trafficking of drugs in the Indian Ocean.
According to NCB, the drugs had its origin in Pakistan and was loaded to the ship from the Makran coast.
A man suspected of Pakistani origin has been detained from the ship.
Officials have seized 134 sacks of suspected meth. According to NCB, the sacks had Pakistani inscriptions.
The 2.5 tonnes of meth seized from the ship is valued at around INR 15,000 million (MVR 28 million) – making it the biggest ever drug seizure in terms of monetary value by any anti-drug enforcement agency in India.
Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Operations), NCB, told the press on Saturday that the actual volume of drugs is expected to rise as officials continue to search the ship.
“The consignment has been meant for India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. More arrests in the case are likely,” he said.
Enforcement agencies involved in controlling drug trafficking have dubbed the region covering Afghanistan, Pakistan and India as the Death Crescent in terms of drug trafficking.
Since the inception of Operation Samudragupt in January 2022, Indian agencies have so far seized 3,200 kilograms of methamphetamine, 500 kilograms of heroin, and 529 kkilograms of hashish. This is the third major seizure of drugs along the southern coast in the last year-and-a-half. This includes the interception of an Iranian boat with 200 kilograms of high-grade heroin off the Kerala coast by the NCB and the Indian Navy in October last year.