In a joint operation by the Coast Guard and Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad, the boat Al Soheli with 10 crew was caught after it entered Indian waters in the Arabian Sea. A search of the vessel revealed six pistols and 120 rounds of ammunition, and about 40kgs of narcotics worth nearly Rs 300 crore.
The boat had set sail from near Karachi, Defence officials said. It is being brought to Okha in Gujarat for further investigations.
@IndiaCoastGuard in joint ops with ATS #Gujarat, apprehended #Pakistani Fishing Boat Al Soheli with 10 crew in Indi… https://t.co/3HNuQI0xdR
— Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) 1672058720000
“During intervening night of December 25/26, on a specific intelligence input, ICG strategically deployed its Fast Patrol class ship ICGS Arinjay for patrolling in area close to notional International Maritime Border Line (IMBL). During early hours of Monday, Pakistani fishing boat Al Soheli was observed moving suspiciously in Indian waters. On being challenged by the ICG ship, the Pakistani boat started evasive manoeuvring and did not stop even on firing of warning shots. ICG ship in pitch darkness manoeuvred and stopped the boat,” a Coast Guard statement said.
This is the seventh joint operation by the Indian Coast Guard and ATS, Gujarat in last 18 months and first wherein arms and ammunitions were being infiltrated, along with the drugs.
Pakistani terrorists who unleashed mayhem in Mumbai during the 26/11 attacks of 2008 had also reached India via the sea-route, after hijacking an Indian fishing boat mid-sea.
India has overhauled its maritime security since, and improved coordination between various agencies.
(With agency inputs)