New Delhi: Officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) have intercepted 218 kilograms of heroin worth Rs 1,526 crore in a mid-sea drug bust off the coast of Lakshadweep Islands, the Finance Ministry said Friday. In a joint operation code named ‘Operation Khojbeen’, launched May 7, two suspected boats were intercepted May 18 by officers of ICG and DRI off the coast of Lakshadweep Islands, officials stated.
On questioning, some of the crew members confessed that they had received heroin in huge quantity on high sea. They stated that they had concealed it in both the boats. Both the boats were escorted to Kochi for further proceedings.
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“Thorough search of both the boats was carried out at the Coast Guard District Headquarters at Kochi. It resulted in heroin recovery of 218 packets of 1 kg each. Seized drug appears to be of high-grade heroin and its value in the international illicit market is estimated to be around Rs 1,526 crore,” a Finance Ministry statement said Friday.
This is the fourth major drug bust by DRI in the past month. Earlier, DRI recovered 205.6kg heroin from a commercial import consignment of gypsum powder at the Kandla port April 20; 396 kg of yarn (laced with heroin) at Pipavav port April 29 and 62 kg heroin at Air Cargo Complex, IGI New Delhi May 10. The total collective value of the three seizures is approximately Rs 2,500 crore in the international illicit market.
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