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Eight Iranian heroin smugglers sent to ATS custody

By Anuj Cariappa

Ahmedabad, Mar 29: A court in Porbandar in Gujarat remanded eight of the nine Iranian nationals, held from a boat in mid-sea while carrying 100 kg of heroin, in a fourteen-day police custody.

The ninth accused was hospitalised, so the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) did not seek his remand.

Eight Iranian heroin smugglers sent to ATS custody

The ATS told chief judicial magistrate C R Patel that it needed to interrogate the accused to find out if they were part of any terrorist group or the international drug mafia.

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It also wanted to probe the source of the consignment, estimated to be worth a whopping Rs 500 crore, seized from the boat.

The crew members were also needed to be interrogated so that two other accused in the case, Mohammad from Delhi and Badruddin Sheikh from Mumbai, could be apprehended, the ATS told the court.

The nine men were arrested on Wednesday in a joint operation by the ATS, Coast Guard and Marine Task Force when they tried to set the vessel afire and destroy the drugs.

As per the ATS, the Iranian boat was loaded off the Gwadar port in Pakistan.

Preliminary questioning revealed that a Pakistani national named Hamid Malek had dispatched the consignment.

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