Mumbai: An application was made on Tuesday before a special court designated for narcotics cases to allow inspection of a boat stationed at Porbandar in Gujarat, from which 232 kg heroin worth around Rs 600 crore was seized by the Coast Guard miles off the Porbandar coast in April 2015.
The boat, which was found to be from Pakistan, was then seized and eight Pakistani nationals were arrested. They are in jail since their arrest, with their bail pleas being rejected.
Additional Public Prosecutor Sumesh Panjwani made the plea stating that the boat which is kept at Porbandar is not in working condition and the plea is made to visit the site and take an inspection of the boat ‘Al Yasir’ as the boat is part and parcel of the investigation.
Panjwani said in his plea that since the huge catchment of drugs was seized from the boat at high sea, it is necessary that the boat be identified by the witness – the complainant in the case.
The witness – Rohit Chowdhary, who was Deputy Commander, Coast Guard told court during his deposition recently that the coast guard vessel ‘Sangram’ intercepted the boat when it was 12 nautical miles into Indian territory and was proceedings towards Mumbai.
He had jumped into the boat and the eight men travelling in it had said that they were fishermen. He had found it suspicious since the fishing nets were dry.
There were 11 drums in the boat and when the coast guard checked them, packets were found in them, he told the court. The witness said that the boat which is now at the jetty in the custody of Customs, Porbandar, is not sea-worthy, but he could identify it.
Panjwani said that for the purpose of the boat’s inspection, that the court may appoint a commissioner who will be present when the identification takes place at Porbandar.
Probe had revealed that the drugs were to be brought into India. Tests in Porbandar had found the powder in the packets to be heroin. The eight men were also found in possession of satellite phones, GPS, electronic navigation charts and inverter.