South Asia

Six Pakistani nationals arrested with heroin in the Arabian Sea

The Arabian Sea. File Photo. Source: Reuters

Six Pakistani nationals were arrested by Indian authorities who seized heroin worth tens of millions of dollars from a Pakistani fishing boat in the Arabian Sea near the western state of Gujarat, officials said on Saturday.

“The heroin seized was smuggled from Afghanistan and the Pakistani men arrested are being questioned to understand the modus operandi,” Deepan Bhadran, a senior Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) official in Gujarat state, said of the Friday night seizure as quoted by Reuters.

Officials estimated the street value of the 50 kg of heroin at 3.5 billion Indian rupees ($42 million).

According to Reuters report, Pakistani authorities have not immediately commented on the arrests.

India is part of a transit route in the lucrative drug smuggling trade, due to its proximity to Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opium, from which heroin is made.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says large shipments of Afghan heroin are smuggled across the Indian Ocean to east and southern Africa, according to Reuters report.