Two days after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had announced the seizure of over 2,500 kilograms of methamphetamine from a vessel in Indian waters in a joint operation with the Navy, the anti-drug agency on Monday said the actual commercial value of the contraband after its latest evaluation was close to Rs 25,000 crore.
NCB officials said because of the high purity of the seized methamphetamine, the value of the contraband has increased.
Initially valued at Rs 12 000 crore, NCB had said that it was the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the country.
"Upon our inspection, we found that the quality of the seized contraband is very high. Currently, the estimated street value of the drugs are at around Rs 25,000 crore," a senior official of the NCB told PTI.
The official said various agencies have come together and they are probing the Pakistan links to the seizure.
"The Pakistani national, who was detained will be produced before the court here this evening and we will seek his custody," the official said.
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The officials said the product was packed in such a professional manner that even if it was aboard a ship for a longer duration, the moisture will not affect the drugs.
"The plastic boxes have various signages or emblems on top of it and we suspect that multiple drug manufacturing labs were involved in it," the official said.
Giving details of the seizure at a press conference held here on Saturday, NCB Deputy Director General (Ops) Sanjay Kumar Singh had said that it was carried out as part of 'Operation Samudragupt' which targeted maritime trafficking of drugs originating from Afghanistan.
This is the third major seizure by NCB of maritime trafficking of drugs through the southern route in the last one and a half years, the agency had said adding that as part of the operation, so far around 3,200 kg of methamphetamine, 500 kg of heroin and 529 kg of hashish have been seized.
The agency claimed that the latest consignment of over 2,500 kg of methamphetamine was meant for India, Sri Lanka and Maldives from Afghanistan.
The drug cache had started on a "mother ship" a large vessel that distributes narcotics to various boats during its journey from the Makran coast around Pakistan and Iran, it said.
As many as 134 sacks of suspected methamphetamine, the intercepted boat and some other items salvaged from the ship along with the Pakistani national were brought to Mattancherry Wharf and handed over by the Navy to the NCB, it said.
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