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Only 70 kg heroin seized from boat, rest unaccounted for: Police

Mariyam Malsa
09 October 2019, MVT 09:41
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
09 October 2019, MVT 09:41

Maldives Police Service, on Tuesday, revealed that only 70 out of the reported 150 kilograms of drugs were confiscated from aboard the boat intercepted during a joint operation conducted by the security forces of India and Sri Lanka.

The Iran-flagged boat was intercepted approximately 172 miles northwest of Thuraakunu, Haa Alifu Atoll along with local fishing vessel 'Hedhey Kuri 7' on Saturday.

The boat and fishing vessel were brought to Dhoonidhoo, Kaafu Atoll at 0200 hrs and 0630 hrs respectively on Tuesday.

The police recovered 70 packets of narcotic substances from three sacks which are estimated to have a collective weight of 70 kilograms. Efforts to thoroughly search both vessels are ongoing.

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed revealed that the approximate value of the confiscated substances would reach MVR 59.2 million.

According to local media outlet Mihaaru, six unidentified individuals aboard the foreign boat were arrested while two locals and a Bangladeshi national were apprehended from the Maldivian vessel.

The police arrested the captain of 'Hedhey Kuri 7' from Dhiffushi, Kaafu Atoll on Monday night. According to the vessel's owner and the captain's father, his son remained on the island due to a sickness while another individual from Dhiffushi captained the boat in his stead.

The police also apprehended three other men on Tuesday night in connection with the case.

The police declined to provide official information concerning the arrests.

According to the Hindustan Times, Indian security forces initially received reports of a 150-kilogram shipment of heroin on September 30 while the boat was in international waters. Subsequently, they notified Maldives and Sri Lanka which also began monitoring the vessel's movement.

According to an anonymous official quoted by the Indian news outlet, the boat was receiving instructions from Pakistan and was shipped from the country.

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