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How the Gwadar Port has become a safe haven for drug traffickers

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New Delhi, Jan 06: A major operation carried out by the Sri Lankan Navy in which drugs worth over Rs 600 million was seized once again points to the hand of the ISI, which has been operating in the region to raise funds for terror.

In an operation carried out in the sea area of Negombo, the Navy seized Crystal Methamphetamine (100 kgs) and Hashish (80 kgs). Four persons were also apprehended and a multiway fishing trawler used in the operation was also seized.

China-Pakistan bonhomie has made Gwadar Port the biggest drug destination

All the drug boats have in the past couple of years originated from the Gwadar Port and it is a well known fact that the Chinese and Pakistanis control the same. Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that every action emerging out of the port is under the supervision of the ISI.

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In November, the Indian Coast Guard seized 100 kilograms of heroin from a Sri Lankan boat. The seizure was made south of Thoothukudi during an operation, which began on November 17. The drugs were meant to be sent to western countries from Sri Lanka. The drugs were transferred onto the Sri Lankan vessel by a Pakistani dhow from Karachi. The Indian Coast Guard found 99 packets of heroin of 100 kilograms, 20 boxes of synthetic drugs, a Thuraya set and five 9 mm pistols. During the questioning, the crew members had told the Coast Guard officials that the drugs were transferred onto the Sri Lankan vessel on the high seas by a Pakistan dhow from Karachi. The drugs were meant to be sent to the western nations and Australia.

Gwadar Port which was operationalised a few years back has become a safe haven for drug traffickers of the Golden Crescent, which is the landlocked poppy fields of Afghanistan.

In 2017, a probe by the Coast Guard into the massive drug haul of Rs 1,500 kg of heroin off the Gujarat coast pointed to the involvement of Pakistani nationals in sending the shipment from the Chinese controlled Gwadar ports. The probe suggested that the narcotics were embarked off the Gwadar Port in Pakistan and the same was proceeding towards the UAE. The port was built by the Chinese and is controlled as well as operated by Beijing for both merchant and military seafaring.

In July 2020, a high alert was sounded following inputs from the international agencies about a rise in smuggling activities originating from the Gwadar Port. India received inputs from the Tanzanian authorities who said that heroin consignments were being smuggled and dropped off at Tanzanian ports.

Officials say that Pakistan is known to provide a safe haven for smuggling narcotics through land routes in Balochistan and trans-shipment from its Gwadar Port.

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    In this context one must look at the Hazi-Sandhu-Arshad network which has its footprints in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan. During investigations it was found that Hazi Jaan operates from the Gwadar Port in Pakistan. It was also found that the drugs were transported from Afghanistan to the Gwadar Port in Pakistan via the deserted Pashini area. From here the boats venture out with the protection of Pakistan.

    It then reaches the Unjha port in northern Gujarat, from where it is transported in trucks to Punjab.

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