New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) carried out a major operation in high sea and have seized a Pakistani fishing vessel carrying 194 packets of contrabands worth Rs 500 crore around Jakhau coast in Gujarat.

According to the officials, intelligence input was received about a suspicious vessel which was involved in smuggling of the drug in the area off Indo-Pak International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) off Gujarat Coast.

The ICG sent its ship - Arinjay on patrol. Two additional interceptor boats C-437 and C-408 were also tasked from Jakhau and Okha to search for the suspect vessel. Dornier aircraft was also launched from Porbandar for aerial recce in the area.

During the search operation, one fishing boat was spotted towards the Indian side which started moving towards the Jakhau coast. After a 48-hour hunt, Pakistani fishing boat Al Madina carrying contraband was caught on Tuesday morning. The suspected vessel Al Madina was kept under surveillance.

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During boarding the vessel, it was found to be registered at Karachi with six Pakistani crew. The initial search of boat led to the recovery of 194 packets of suspected narcotics substance.

The operation was carried out even as the sea condition was rough. The boat's crew threw the bags in the sea. The ICG, however, managed to retrieve seven bags. 

A preliminary investigation, done with the help of drug detection kit, revealed the seized substance to be narcotics.  The approximate cost of narcotics seized is about Rs 400 to Rs 500 crore. This will depend on the purity of the narcotics that is to be tested later.

This is the second such seizure on the Gujarat coast in the last three months. Earlier in March 2019, 100 kilograms of the heroine was seized in a joint operation by Coast Guard and Anti-Terrorist Squad, Ahmedabad.