Ghana

Pakistan based drug kingpin behind the source of drugs during the recent drug hauls |

[FILE] In this handout photograph taken by India’s Ministry of Defence on September 19, 2019, Indian Coast Guard personnel (up) pose for photographs as they keep watch on a Myanmarese ship’s crew after seizing 1160 kg of Ketamine drug from their boat near Car Nicobar islands, part of the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Handout / INDIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENCE / AFP

In a series of apprehensions made by Indian Coast Guard (ICG) of 03 Sri Lankan Fishing boats “Shenaya Duwa” on Nov 25, 2020 “Akarsha Duwa” on Mar 05, 2021, & “Ravihansi” on Mar 18, 2021, approximately 595 kg of heroin, 18 Kg of Methamphetamine & 60 kg hashish along with arms and ammunitions (05 AK-47, 1000 live rounds, 06 Chinese pistols & magazines) have been seized so far.

The approximate value of contraband in the international market is estimated to be about 6000 crores. 6 Sri Lankan nationals from the boat “Ravihansi” were arrested by the Indian Coast guard (ICG) on Mar 18 and the boat was escorted to Vizhinjam, Kerala on Mar 25.

During preliminary investigations, it was found that Pakistan based drug kingpins primarily the Haji Salim network among others are behind the source of drugs. They initially load Iranian vessels docked at Chabahar Port with a large quantity of drugs (in tonnes).

The exchange of goods takes place between the Iranian mother vessels and Srilankan fishing boats in the high seas of the Arabian Sea. The main coordinator of the Iranian vessel is found to be a Pakistani drug kingpin operating from Karachi, Pakistan. Whereas, the main handler of the consignment for Sri Lankan boats is a Sri Lankan drug lord operating from UAE. Pakistani drug offenders operating from Sri Lankan prisons are also part of the drug syndicate.

In recent years, Sri Lanka has turned out to be a lucrative and profitable location for drug trafficking. It is a destination as well as transit for the global drug trade.

It is clearly evident from the recent drug hauls that there is a considerable surge in the demand of drugs across the global market. The Covid pandemic has not hindered the global production and distribution of drugs.

Modus Operandi
The entire operations of the drug network are managed and operated by Pakistan nationals who are mostly lodged in various Sri Lankan jails. They use large fishing vessels* (dhow) either of Pakistani or Iranian origin for transportation of these drugs into the high =seas. Most of the dhows are operating from Jiwani and Gwadar port in Pakistan and Chabahar port in Iran.

The Heroin from Afghanistan is stored in Turbat, Pakistan and then moved from there to the above-mentioned ports and are loaded on to smaller fishing vessels and further transferred at sea to the larger dhows.

These larger dhows are like Mother vessels that carry a huge quantity of drugs in the range of 1000 kg(s). The larger dhows then travel and anchor in the area around 700 to 1000km N-W of Maldives avoiding Indian Law Enforcement agencies. They maintain communication and accordingly finalize the collection points for transfer of the consignment.

The receiving side generally collects around 100-300 kg of narcotics per transaction. The drugs on reaching the Maldives or Sri Lanka are further moved out to Western destinations including Australia, Europe, USA, etc.

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