Guj ATS seizes drugs worth Rs 2,170 cr in 3 yrs; 73 people arrested


PTI, Mar 6, 2022, 4:45 PM IST

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad seized drugs estimated to be worth 2,170 crore in the last three years and arrested 73 people, including a number of Pakistani nationals, in this connection, the ATS said on Sunday.

It claimed that Pakistani smugglers many times tried to use the Gujarat coast to smuggle drugs, but all such attempts were foiled. The Gujarat ATS carried out joint operations with the Indian Coast Guard and local police to bust several such attempts, the anti-terror agency said in a release.

In 2021 alone, narcotics worth Rs 1,466.18 crore were seized, while drugs worth Rs 704.04 crore were confiscated in the previous two years, it said. Many of these seizures were made in operations carried out in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast, close to the international maritime boundary with Pakistan, it said.

The figure does not include the drug seizure worth Rs 21,000-crore made by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) from the Mundra port in Kutch district in September last year. That case is now being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Between 2019 and 2021, the state ATS seized 427.3 kg of heroin, 6.65 kg of MD (a synthetic stimulant) and 3.54 kg brown sugar, the release said.

In 2019, the ATS seized 100 kg of heroin worth Rs 500 crore in an operation carried out in the Arabian Sea, 178 nautical miles from the Gujarat coast. Further investigation led to the seizure of five kg of MD drug worth around Rs 25 crore from New Delhi, it said.

In 2020, the ATS apprehended a suspicious boat off the state coast and seized 35 kg of heroin worth Rs 175 crore, the release said.

The number of operations carried out in the Arabian Sea rose sharply in 2021, with 60 kg heroin worth Rs 300 crore seized in two major operations in which 15 Pakistani nationals were arrested, the ATS said.

Another 120 kg heroin worth Rs 600 crore was seized from an under-construction house in Morbi, which was smuggled into India via the state coast. Three persons were arrested in this connection, it said.

Further investigation led to the seizure of another 155.30 kg of heroin worth Rs 776.5 crore and 14 people, including a Nigerian national, were arrested, it added.

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