At least 6 Pakistani nationals were arrested with 77 kg of heroin worth Rs 400 crore off Gujarat coast in a joint operation by Gujarat ATS and Coast Guard.
Both -- Gujarat ATS and Coast Guard -- were conducting search operations for the past few months regarding reports of drug smuggling.
According to reports, a large consignment of banned heroin was to be brought from Karachi Port in the ship "Al Hussaini".
Acting on tip-offs, ATS and Coast Guard started patrolling from interceptor boat and in no time saw Sandigh Al Hussaini ship and surrounded it from all sides.
The seizure was made around 35 nautical miles off the Jakhau coast in Kutch district of Gujarat, officials said.
They apprehended the Pakistani fishing boat 'Al Huseini' with six crew members on board in the Indian waters and seized "77 kg of heroin worth approximately Rs 400 crore," Gujarat's defence PRO said in a tweet in the morning.
The boat was later brought to the Jakhau coast for further investigation, he said.
The Gujarat ATS in a release said the Pakistani boat had left the Karachi port and was trying to establish contact using very high frequency (VHF) radio channel and code words, 'Hari-1' and 'Hari-2', for the delivery of the drugs.
The boat, belonging to one Shahbaz Ali, left the Karachi port and its crew members loaded the drugs sent to them on a fibre boat at a distance of six nautical miles from the Karachi port.
Preliminary interrogation of the captured Pakistani nationals revealed the heroin was supplied by two Pakistani smugglers, identified as Haji Hasan and Haji Hasam, and according to the tip-off, it was to be delivered to people associated with the underworld in Punjab, the ATS said.
It was to be offloaded somewhere along the Gujarat coast in Kutch, it said.
When challenged, the boat's crew members tried to flee. But, the boat was outmaneuvered and the crew members were forced to surrender by the ICG and ATS team, a defence release said.
Despite adverse weather conditions, the boat was thoroughly rummaged and five bags containing approximately 77 kg of heroin were seized.
"The market value of the seized narcotics is estimated to be approximately Rs 400 crore," it said.
(With PTI inputs)