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Gujarat: BSF recovers more than 100 drug packets in four days on Kutch coast

The latest modus operandi of drug smuggling involves throwing drug packets mid-sea, allowing drugs to flow all the way to the Gujarat border

Updated: Aug 17th, 2023

The Kutch coasts have become a hotspot for drug trafficking from Afghanistan and Pakistan through the Arabian Sea. The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 10 packets of charas (cannabis concentrate) from Kutch’s Sindhodi beyt on Aug 16. 

Drugs on Kutch coasts, a regular affair

On Aug 13, BSF and police recovered 10 packets weighing 10 kg charas from Khidrat beyt, 10 packets of charas and one packet of heroin from Kundi beyt and Jakhau’s Pingleshwar, 20 packets weighing 35.626 kg of charas were seized on Aug 14.

10 packets of charas from Shekaran Pir beyt, 21 packets from Baakal beyt and one packet of heroin from Luna beyt were recovered on Aug 15. 

The drug mafias have adopted a new strategy by misusing the geographical position of the Kutch coast to smuggle drugs from Afghanistan. In merely four months (Apr-Aug 2023), narcotic substances worth ₹70 cr have been seized from these eight islets of Kutch.

In these four months, 90 packets of Afghani charas weighing more than 120 kg were seized, along with 10 packets of heroin. The price of 10 kg of heroin and Afghani charas is estimated at ₹50 cr and ₹20 cr in the international market, respectively.

Decoding drug syndicate’s modus operandi

According to experts, the Jakhau coast of Gujarat’s Kutch is low-lying near the India-Pakistan border in the Arabian Sea. There are a total of eight isolated islets on the coast of Jakhau. 

The drug mafias smuggle drugs by throwing drug packets mid-sea, allowing drugs to flow all the way to Jakhau bet. They deliver drugs to local carriers with the help of locals who are aware of these isolated islets in Kutch. 

The packets are found and delivered to local carriers. Moreover, special cartels are also active to deliver packets of Afghani charas, or heroin to the country's major cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, and Punjab. 

Despite efforts, syndicate still active

According to VV Bhola, police inspector of the West Kutch Special Operation Group (SOG), all groups of fishermen are advised to keep an eye on materials found in the sea while fishing.

If they find drugs, weapons, or Pakistani infiltrators, they should immediately notify the relevant authorities. Continuous guidance is given to them. Regular boat checks have also begun. Despite the vigilance of the police and other agencies, drug syndicates have smartly managed to smuggle drugs to Kutch.

Building a network of informants

To stop the rampant drug trafficking through maritime, a cogent network of informants must be strengthened. Earlier, a syndicate of fake currency rackets was busted by the Ahmedabad police commissioner, G S Malik, who was the then superintendent of police, Kutch. 

At that time, fake currency was smuggled through maritime routes. After a deep investigation from Karachi to Hyderabad, the police were able to nab the whole racket. 

What happens to seized drugs by police?

After the drugs are seized, they are sealed and kept in isolation at the police station. The drugs collected from more than 10 cases in the district are destroyed with the permission of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) special court.

They are burned in a furnace in the presence of the narcotics department, district administration, police, and agency that seized the drugs. Photographic and videographic evidence of the same is taken by the authorities.

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