Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajveer in a sea-air coordinated operation seized 1160 Kgs of drug Ketamine on 19 September 2019 from a suspicious Myanmarese vessel operating near Car Nicobar islands. The haul is worth Rs 300 Crores in the international market.
Indian Coast Guard aircraft on routine surveillance on 18 September, 2019, sighted a suspicious vessel operating in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone and not responding on VHF. Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajveer was directed to intercept the vessel and carry out investigation. ICGS Rajveer intercepted the vessel near Car Nicobar island at 9 p.m. on September 19. The vessel was unlit and tried to evade ICGS Rajveer, on being directed to stop. ICGS Rajveer finally forced the vessel to stop and it was boarded by Coast Guard boarding party.
On interrogation, the boat crew revealed that they had commenced their journey from damson bay in Myanmar on 14 September 2019 for delivery of consignment in gunny bags to another boat operating near Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line on 21 September 2019. On rummaging of the vessel on 20 September 2019, 57 Gunny Bundles of suspicious substance was found and the same was transferred to ICGS Rajveer along with other available documents onboard the vessel. The vessel, during the passage to Port Blair, started taking in water (flooding) and Coast Guard personnel tried to pump out the water by diesel driven pump and other damage control items. However, the flooding could not be controlled and the boat sank.
ICGS Rajveer resumed her passage with six Myanmarese crew and reached Port Blair the next day. Joint interrogation was conducted with narcotics control bureau and local police in attendance. NCB conducted preliminary analysis which revealed that the suspicious substance was Ketamine and there were 1160 packets of 1 Kg each on Rs 300board the vessel. The estimated value of the catch is about Rs 300 crores in international market.
In the last five years, Indian Coast Guard has apprehended narcotics and other Psychotrophic Susbstances to the tune of Rs. 6000 crores excluding the current operation. Indian Coast Guard remains committed to ensure safe and secure seas in its area of responsibility.