In­dia seizes one ton of ke­tamine on boat, ar­rests six Myan­mar crew

Mizzima Business Weekly - - CONTENTS -

In­dia's coast guard has ar­rested six Myan­mar men and seized $42 mil­lion worth of ke­tamine af­ter spot­ting a sus­pi­cious ves­sel in the In­dian Ocean near the Ni­co­bar Is­lands.

The 1,160 kilo­grams (about 2,500 pounds) drug haul came af­ter coast guard air­craft spot­ted the boat, which had its lights off, on 19 Septem­ber in In­dia's Ex­clu­sive Eco­nomic Zone, the de­fence min­istry said in a state­ment.

The boat's crew did not re­spond to ra­dio calls and the coast guard even­tu­ally boarded it, with of­fi­cials find­ing "57 gunny bun­dles of sus­pi­cious sub­stance" on 21 Septem­ber.

"Pre­lim­i­nary anal­y­sis... re­vealed that the sus­pi­cious sub­stance was ke­tamine and there were 1,160 pack­ets of 1kg each on­board the ves­sel," the min­istry added.

The six Myan­mar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the cap­i­tal of the An­daman and Ni­co­bar Is­lands, where they were ques­tioned by in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

They claimed they left Myan­mar on Septem­ber 14 and were due to ren­dezvous with an­other boat "op­er­at­ing near the Thai­land-Malaysia mar­itime bor­der­line" on Satur­day, the state­ment said. The Ni­co­bar Is­lands are lo­cated near South­east Asia, off Myan­mar's coast.

Parts of Myan­mar, Laos and Thai­land are in the lawless "Golden Tri­an­gle" zone, the world's sec­ond­largest drug-pro­duc­ing re­gion af­ter Latin Amer­ica.

Large amounts drugs such as heroin and metham­phetamine are churned out in re­mote jun­gle labs each year and smug­gled across Asia and be­yond.

In this hand­out pho­to­graph taken by In­dia's Min­istry of De­fence on Septem­ber 19, 2019, In­dian Coast Guard per­son­nel (up) pose for pho­to­graphs as they keep watch on a Myan­mar ship's crew af­ter seiz­ing 1160 kg of Ke­tamine drug from their boat near Car Ni­co­bar is­lands, part of the In­dian union ter­ri­tory of An­daman and Ni­co­bar is­lands. Photo: AFP

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