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Coast Guard, Police seize 150 kg heroin in Maldivian waters

Mariyam Malsa
07 October 2019, MVT 22:00
A photograph taken during the joint operation conducted by the security forces of Maldives, India and Sri Lanka. PHOTO: MALDIVES NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE (MNDF)
Mariyam Malsa
07 October 2019, MVT 22:00

The Maldivian Coast Guard and Police, on Saturday, intercepted a boat transporting 150 kilograms of heroin in Maldivian waters during a joint operation conducted with the security forces of India and Sri Lanka.

The police confirmed that a foreign vessel was halted near Thuraakunu, Haa Alifu Atoll, along with a local boat suspected to be travelling toward the former vessel to collect the narcotic substances.

A total of six unidentified individuals were found aboard the foreign boat while two locals and a Bangladeshi national were on the Maldivian vessel.

Furthermore, the police revealed that efforts were underway to bring both vessels to Dhoonidhoo, Kaafu Atoll and estimated that they would arrive on Monday night.

According to the Hindustan Times, Indian security forces first received reports on the shipment on September 30 while the boat was in international waters 500 nautical miles off Kochi coast. Subsequently, they notified Maldives and Sri Lanka which also began monitoring the vessel's movement.

Local media outlet Mihaaru reported that Maldivian security forces commenced their operation to seize the boat on Friday night in the Northern area of the country.

According to an anonymous official quoted by the Hindustan Times, the boat was receiving instructions from Pakistan and was shipped from the country. The vessel's destination remains unconfirmed.

As per Indian officials, Saturday's operation resulted in the confiscation of the fifth haul of drugs shipped from Pakistan over the last three months.

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