Ahmedabad, April 21: Indian Coast Guard (ICG) officials confirmed on Monday that they have seized narcotics worth Rs 600 crore from the seized Pakistani boat.
"We have confiscated 232 packets of narcotics which could value around Rs 600 crore in the international market. This is as per the initial investigation by ICG Sangram," an official said. The narcotics is suspected to be heroin.
Satellite communication phones and Global Positioning Systems, being used to facilitate transhipment of the contraband to another boat were also confiscated.
"It is now confirmed that eight Pakistani nationals were manning the boat. Their credentials have been already established. Reports on more men manning the boat are baseless," an official said.
Speaking to OneIndia Commandant I J Singh, Spokesperson, Indian Coast Guard, said that more details about the operation will be out during the second part of the day.
"Currently the boat is being brought to Porbander. Senior Coast Guard officials will take stock of the situation after which a briefing is likely," he said. A media briefing is expected around 2 pm today.
Singh added that the entire operation is now being coordinated by ICG Regional HQ (North West) and Western Naval Command HQ.
Navy's flying assets played a pivotal role
"Multiple units from the Coast Guard and Navy were deployed for the operation, which included Indian Coast Guard Ship Sangram along with IN Ship Nirghat and Kondul," he said.
The search was augmented by extensive aerial searches undertaken by Coast Guard and Naval aircraft including Dorniers, IL-38 and P8Is.
Navy began inducting Boeing Poseidon-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft into the fleet from May 2013 onwards.
The first aircraft was inducted at the Naval Air Station, INS Rajali, at Arakkonam.
The P-8I has enhanced Navy's anti-shipping, anti-submarine and surveillance capability.
In a display of seamless coordination, the suspect Pakistani boat was intercepted by ICG Ship Sangram in the wee hours of morning of April 20 (not April 18 as per initial reports), and thereafter apprehended later in the morning.
"The operational support for the entire mission came from INS Kondul," Singh said.