Indian coast guard makes record 1.5 tonne heroin bust
Ahmedabad, India - India’s coast guard announced on Sunday it had seized 1.5 tonnes of heroin worth almost US$550mn from a merchant ship in what maritime authorities are calling their largest-ever drug bust.
The ship was intercepted on Saturday off the western state of Gujarat, the coast guard said in a statement.
‘This is the largest single haul of narcotics seized till date’, the coast guard said, adding the drugs were worth an estimated US$545mn.
An undisclosed number of suspects were detained for questioning by coast guard officials, police and intelligence agencies.
Anyone caught smuggling or possessing narcotics is remanded in custody without bail under Indian law.
Last year police in the western state of Maharashtra seized 18.5 tonnes of ephedrine, a precursor used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, worth US$311mn.
In 2013 police in the holiday resort state of Goa arrested a 45 year old Briton in possession of more than four kilograms of amphetamines worth US$330,000.
Heroin seizures in India have increased in recent years, figures from the Narcotics Control Bureau show.