3,300 pounds of heroin, valued at $545M, seized off India coast

July 31 (UPI) — India’s coast guard over the weekend announced the seizure of 3,300 pounds of heroin, valued at $545 million, from a merchant ship of the coast of Gujarat.

The ship, registered in Panama with a crew of eight, was traveling from Iran and was intercepted in a three-day operation which also involved India’s Navy and Intelligence Bureau.

Navy spokesman D. R. Sharma called it “the largest single haul of narcotics” in India’s history.

The announcement of the interception was made Sunday. It is unclear when the seizure occurred.

India has strict narcotics laws, with a 10-year minimum sentence for offenses regarding heroin smuggling. The country lies along a primary smuggling transit route because of its proximity to Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opium.

India also has a drug problem of its own. A 2015 survey indicated 860,000 opioid users — of a population of about 27 million — reside in India’s northern Punjab state.


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