Vikash Sharma

In a major crackdown and drive against the smuggling of narcotics, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Mandapam seized 99 Kg of Hashish drug worth Rs 108 crores in a joint operation with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Chennai. The narcotics were seized from a country boat sailing towards Sri Lanka in the Gulf of Mannar on Tuesday.

Initially, the officers of the DRI Chennai Zonal Unit developed specific input that indicated that a gang was planning to smuggle narcotics substances from India to Sri Lanka via a coastal route near the Mandapam Sea coast.

Based on the input, officers of the DRI and the Indian Coast Guard mounted surveillance over the Gulf of Mannar through the Indian Coast Guard Ship on the intervening night of March 4 and 5. Subsequently, the officers of the DRI and Indian Coast Guard identified a country boat sailing toward Sri Lanka and intercepted the same after a brief hot pursuit.

As per PIB report, the country boat along with the contraband and 3 persons on board were brought to Indian Coast Guard Station Mandapam in the morning for further investigation.

During interrogation, they admitted that the bags packed with narcotic substances were received from a person at Pamban Coastal area and based on his instruction they were carrying the same for further handing over to some unknown persons from Sri Lanka who would arrive at deep sea.

On examination of seized sacks, a total of 111 no. packets weighing 99 kgs containing brown colour sticky material was detected which on testing with a field testing kit was found to be Hashish, a NDPS substance with international market value of around Rs 108 crores, the report added.