People familiar with the development said on Saturday that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), led by Sanjay Kumar Singh, in collaboration with the Indian Navy, seized about 800 kg of drugs worth Rs 2,000 crore from a vessel tracked in the high seas beyond India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Arabian Sea.
Two enormous boats carrying massive amounts of cocaine were en route to India from the Arabian Sea, heading for Gujarat or Mumbai, according to the NCB.
The NCB’s Operations unit, directed by deputy director general (DDG) Sanjay Kumar Singh, started an operation in coordination with the Indian Navy to follow these boats on the high seas.
The NCB and an Indian Navy ship spotted two boats outside India’s EEZ, which is 200 nautical miles off the coast, after scanning the seas for hours this week.
When the smugglers realised the Indian naval boat was pursuing them, they allegedly abandoned one of the boats and fled in another.
According to NCB Sanjay Kumar Singh, 525 kilogrammes of very high-grade hashish and 234 kg of highest quality crystal Methamphetamine were discovered, which officials estimated to be worth over 2,000 crore on the worldwide market.
“It is the first such operation in NCB’s or other investigating agencies’ history when the seizure is made on the high seas,” NCB director general SN Pradhan said. The operation took a lot of planning and organisation and it is a huge catch.”
The boat found in the high seas, according to a senior officer who did not want to be identified, had some inscription in ‘Urdu.’
According to the information, the drugs were sent from Pakistan and were intended for India.
The NCB announced on Saturday that it had detained 22 persons, including software engineers, a financial analyst, an MBA graduate, and one of its own employees, for running a pan-India drug trafficking network that used the ‘dark web’ and crypto currency to transport narcotics.
In the four-month-long operation, three large dark net markets – dubbed ‘DNM India,’ ‘Dread,’ and ‘The Orient Express’ – were discovered in numerous states, including Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Punjab, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Rajasthan.
DDG (North) Gyaneshwar Singh of the NCB claimed the recreational drugs were acquired through courier services and the India Post network from nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Poland.
“The network was caught after a lengthy operation that began when we seized a narcotics package in Kolkata. Our special investigation team, which performs cyber patrols to check for dark net usage, has busted three large networks operating in the country that use the dark web, anonymous crypto currency transactions, and pseudonymous social media profiles “Singh said.