Hashish seizure from Gujarat coast is a new trend (Representational)
The Border Security Force (BSF) said it has stepped up vigil along the Gujarat coastline due to concerns emerging from a "new pattern" of drug trade linked to Pakistan, following seizure of more than 1,300 kg hashish in four months.
The Bhuj unit of the BSF on Wednesday seized 3 kg of hashish near Jakhau in the coastal area of Kutch. The border guarding force said it has identified the same pattern in the latest seizure, hinting towards a drug cartel using the Arabian sea route for narcotics smuggling.
"Till now 1,309 packets of charas (hashish) of one kg each have been seized by BSF, the police, the Coast Guard and the Navy from creeks and Jakhau Coast in a period of about four months from May to August. The seizure of hashish packets is a new trend and a matter of concern for all security agencies operating in Gujarat state," the BSF said in a statement.
"All seized hashish packets are of almost similar print and packaging, found scattered along the 58-km coastline around Jakhau. This has exposed the vulnerability of the Arabian Coast in Gujarat and vigil has been further tightened all along the Gujarat coast and creek area," it said.
The paramilitary force cited reports to say that during the past one year, Pakistani security agencies launched a series of operations for seizure of narcotics in deep sea near International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off the Karachi coast.
"They seized about 11,000 kg of narcotics like heroin, hashish, brown/ice crystal, synthetic heroin and opium valued at more than 22,000 million Pakistani Rupees. It is further learnt that some of the fleeing boats dumped their cargo in sea near IMBL Karachi when intercepted by Pakistani security agencies," the BSF said.
According to the statement, these narcotics items were smuggled from Afghanistan and Iran to Balochistan and further to Sindh (Karachi).
"After packing in plastic sacks, printed Fauzi Fertilisers Corporation, Pakistan (FFC), 46 UREA, SONA BRAND the narcotics were smuggled to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Africa and the rest of South Asia, through deep sea from a small coastal village Rehri off Karachi coast Pakistan," it stated.
The drug packets seized off Gujarat coast are similar to the packing seized by Pakistani security agencies, the BSF said.
"The dumped packets of drugs have drifted towards the Indian coast Jakhau and were found scattered all over the coast. Patterns of waves and movement of the water/currents in Arabian Sea also indicate this strong possibility," it added.
Hashish seizure from Gujarat coast is a new trend. However, in the past heroin seizures have been made by security agencies off the state's coast.
"Hashish consignments were probably not headed for India. Photographs of hashish seized by Pakistani agencies and Indian security agencies reveal similar printing/packaging which indicate that the hashish packets seized along Jakhau coast are part of the drug consignment of hashish packets thrown in the sea by Pakistani smugglers during raid off Karachi coast has drifted towards Jakhau coast," the BSF said.
"However, due to the huge trade of narcotics through the Arabian Sea by Pakistani smugglers, the possibility of exploitation of the Gujarat coast cannot be ruled out. Security agencies have been alerted to keep strong vigil all along the Gujarat coast and Creek area," it added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)