New Delhi :  A manhunt has been launched for a man hailing from Gujarat as part of a multi-agency investigation in connection with the seizure of an estimated 1,000 kg of drugs from an Indian dhow off the Kenyan coast last month by international maritime authorities.

The man identified as ‘Raja’ is a resident of Veraval in Somnath district of north-east coastal Gujarat and he had allegedly leased the dhow– Laxmi Narayan– from a small-time businessman of the same locality, official sources said.

Following reports in the international media, central security agencies began a suo-motu investigation comprising intelligence and anti-narcotics sleuths into the case.

The businessman identified as A Parmar told the sleuths that he had leased the dhow to Raja and that he was unaware of his whereabouts since then.

The incident came to light on April 24 when reports said a patrol of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) led by Australian authorities intercepted the large Indian dhow near the Mombasa coast in Kenya recovering over 1,000 kg of heroin.

The investigating agencies are questioning at least eight suspects in the case after it came to light that the owner of the dhow complained to Veraval police that the man, whom he leased the boat that was detained in international waters, was absconding and had cheated him.

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