Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Coast Guard prevented the transhipment of around 260 kg of narcotics worth Rs 2,100 crore in the Lakshadweep Sea, an official statement said on Monday.
Earlier this month, ships and aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) observed suspicious movement of three Sri Lankan fishing boats during patrol off the Lakshadweep islands, it said.
Initial investigation revealed that one of the three boats called ‘Akarsha Duwa’ was at sea for a longer duration of over a fortnight, the statement said.
“Inconsistent information received and abnormal behaviour of its crew further raised the suspicion level…. while en-route, the crew noticed the presence of ICG ships and aircraft in the area.
“With the fear of getting apprehended, the crew decided to flee the area. However, on realising that fleeing from ICG ships was impossible, they dropped five bags of contraband weighing around 260 kg of narcotics in water. The value of these narcotics in the international market is approximately Rs 2,100 crore,” it stated.
Owing to rough sea conditions off Minicoy Islands — which is part of Lakshadweep — the three boats were brought to Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday for further interrogation by security agencies concerned.
“Post rummaging and joint investigation at Vizhinjam, Akarsha Duwa, along with six Sri Lankan crew members, was detained for final investigation. Two other boats with crew were released for handing over to the Sri Lankan authorities,” the statement added.