India’s navy seized a ship carrying about 1,500 kg of heroin
worth 35 billion rupees ($545 million) on Sunday 30 July ’17 in what it said
was its biggest ever drugs haul.
The vessel, which was operating under the name MV Henry under
the Panama flag, was intercepted off the Gujarat coast near the city of
Porbandar, said S. Paramesh, deputy director general at the Indian Coast Guard.
It was sailing from Dubai to Alang, a town in Gujarat known for
shipbreaking, Paramesh said.
The eight crew members aboard, all of whom were identified as
Indian nationals, are under investigation.
According to former narcotics bureau zonal director Rohit
Sharma, drug cartels are increasingly using the maritime route to bring heroin
from Afghanistan to the Makran coast, where the coastlines of Pakistan and Iran
“And from there, the drug is taken across the Indian Ocean to
western markets via east Africa,” he said. Smugglers prefer the east African
coastline as it is inadequately policed.