Saturday, September 23, 2017

Big Rs 3,500 crore drug haul: Merchant vessel Henry seizure only 20 pct of the annual consignment

http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/big-rs-3500-crore-drug-haul-merchant-vessel-henry-seizure-only-20-pct-of-the-annual-consignment/867487/



The Indian Coast Guard which had seized Drugs worth Rs 3,500 crore from a ‘ghost ship’ on way to Gujarat on July, was just one-fifth of the consignment that was to be ferried in a year.

By: FE Online | New Delhi | Published: September 23, 2017 3:52 PM

Drugs worth Rs 3,5000 crore were seized by the Indian coast guard. (IE)

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The Indian Coast Guard which had seized Drugs worth Rs 3,500 crore from a ‘ghost ship’ on way to Gujarat on July, was just one-fifth of the consignment that was to be ferried in a year, a multi-agency probe has revealed. The consignment was to be ferried to Egypt, as per The Indian Express. The accused also confessed that while ferrying around one tonne of the consignment in April, they were apprehended by US maritime officials near the Gulf of Aden, However, they managed to give them the slip then. The Coast Guard seized a record 1,446 kg of drugs from the ship. In this connection, agencies had arrested eleven people including the Kolkata-based Captain Suprit Tiwari, according to the Indian Express.

“The main accused (Tiwari) was using a Thuraya satellite phone (which is banned in Indian waters) to talk to his Indian associates. We arrested his co-accused from Uttar Pradesh,” an official told The Indian Express. “The Panama-registered ship is a ghost ship, which has changed names several times during its 35 years at sea. During its voyage in April, it was called ‘MV Fatima’. This too is not its original name but a fake name used by the accused,” the official told IE.

The accused were using same modus operandi, however, the Coast Guard foiled their bid when they were carrying the consignment in Indian waters. The Coast Gaurd caught the vessel when it was approaching Gujarat on On July 27, the report said. “While searching the ship, we looked for cavities, which were found in storage tanks, water supply pipes and other parts,” said another official, on the condition of anonymity, ” the official told IE.

Further investigation also revealed that Tiwari was roped in by his employer, Syedali Moniri, an Iranian national, to work as a crew member on ‘MV Prince II’. The ship was given a name, Henry, at Bandar Abbas port in Iran in May. Another two members joined the ship in the Gulf of Oman in June. Investigators also suspect that the drug had been loaded at the Gwadar port in Pakistan, where the ship was halted for a brief period, as per IE report

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