20 Indian agencies grilling crew of seized Pak Boat

AHMADABAD, Apr 23 (INP) As many as 20 Indian agencies carried out joint interrogations of the eight crew members of a Pakistani boat that was seized on Monday, 250 nautical miles off the Gujarat coast, with a consignment of heroin worth Rs.600 crore.

The investigating agencies include the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Central Intelligence Bureau, the Customs department, the state intelligence department, the Special Operations Group and the Gujarat Police, besides the Coast Guard and the Indian Navy who apprehended the boat in a joint operation near Porbandar.

According to Kuldip Singh Sheron, IG (North-West Command), Coast Guard, it was a mere speculation that there were two boats. However, even if there was another boat, it might have been there to receive the contraband but vanished on seeing the agencies closing in on the other boat by sea as well as air, he said.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard handed over the 232 seized packets of heroine, each weighing one kilogram, to the Narcotics Control Bureau while the boat’s custody was given to the Customs authorities, and the crew members handed over to the Gujarat Police.

Official sources told Indian media that the interrogators were looking for leads into questions like who was the consignment meant for and if there was an Indian connection. Investigating agencies, which have already concluded that the crew members were mere carriers, are also trying to find out who were they working for and if they were part of an international drug cartel or terrorist group.