Intelligence agencies question 8 Gujarati sailors over heroin seizure worth Rs 1,600 crore

Agencies are probing if narcotics were earlier smuggled to any part of India

Jamnagar: Eight sailors from Jodiya were questioned jointly by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Intelligence Bureau and the Gujarat police for their alleged involvement in conenction with the seizure of Rs 1,600 crore worth heroin.

"Eight sailors, who are allegedly involved in the multi-crore narcotics racket, have been brought from Mumbai to Gujarat for questioning," a senior police officer said.

The officer said that officials of the customs department, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Intelligence Bureau and Jamnagar Special Operations Group are questioning the sailors.

"The agencies are probing if narcotics were smuggled to any part of India earlier and where they were supposed to send this particular stock," the officer said.

Sailors brought to Gujarat have been identified as Isa Hussain, Harun Kasam Buchad, Imran Akbar, Razzaq Abbas, Abbas Jusab, Asif Rao Dawood Hussain and Aziz Mamad.

Earlier, it was reported that the Australian Navy had intercepted a vessel registered in Gujarat, with heroin worth Rs 1,600 crore on board, off the Kenyan coast.

Reports suggested that the vessel 'Laxminarayan' is registered in Veraval town of the newly- formed Devbhoomi Dwarka district.
The Australian Navy claimed to have arrested ten Gujarat-based sailors, allegedly for drug smuggling.

Sources said that the vessel's owner is one Ashok Parmar who gave his ship on rent for a year to a Salaya-based trader called Haji Bashir Kathiyara, who had loaded the vessel with goats and sheep at Tuna port in Kutch, before the vessel headed towards Dubai, a month ago.

Since Bashir had used the ship for an year, sources said that it is suspected that he might have unloaded a large consignment of drugs during his return trip to Salaya in February.

( Source : PTI )
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