Investigative agencies in the Indian subcontinent have identified a surge in the activities of Pakistan based drug-trafficking syndicates following a string of operations, including a drug bust in Maldives, which resulted in the collective seizures of over 1,100 kilograms of heroin.
On May 6, the Maldivian Coast Guard and Maldives Police Service intercepted an Iranian boat transporting 49 kilograms of narcotics 126 nautical miles west of Baa Atoll. Seven crew members were arrested. The Indian Coast Guard detected 200 kilograms of heroin on a Pakistani fishing vessel off the Gujarati coast on May 21. Four Pakistani citizens were arrested during the operation. On March 24, enforcement officials in southern Sri Lanka seized more than 107 kilograms of heroin from an Iranian vessel.
During March, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Indian Coast Guard seized 100 kilograms of heroin from an Iranian boat off the coast of Porbandar, Gujurat. Investigations revealed that the consignment was sent by Hamid Malek, a Pakistani national. ATS later arrested two suspects in relation to the case, one of whom was an Afghan national.
The confiscated heroin is strongly suspected to be sourced from Afghanistan.
An enforcement agency official from India stated, “Three routes are traditionally used for global distribution of Afghan heroin: the Balkans, Central Asian countries and the Indian subcontinent. Since 2015, there has been a decline in seizures on the Balkans and Central Asian routes. However, they have of late increased in the subcontinent”. Investigative agencies have uncovered several instances of drug money being utilized to fund acts of terrorism.