150 kg heroin seized in Maldivian waters

Media reports have stated that 150 kg of drugs were seized in Maldivian waters in a joint operation between Maldives, Sri Lanka and Indian authorities.

India's 'The Hindustan Times' cited an official and stated Indian security agencies detected the boat on September 30 about 500 nautical miles off Kerela.

This is the fifth such haul of drugs shipped from Pakistan through the sea that has been recovered over the last three months, said the report.

While the boat was receiving instruction from Pakistan, its destination was not immediately clear, said the official. According to the report, the boat was intercepted in Maldivian waters in a coordinated operation on Saturday night.

β€œIn a joint operation Saturday night, the Maldivian Coast Guard and Maldivian Police seized the suspect vessel in their waters,’’ the official was quoted.

Maldivian authorities have not commented on the operation thus far.

India recently claimed that drug smugglers based in Pakistan used Maldives and Sri Lanka sea routes to export drugs to finance terrorism. In a similar operation, the Sri Lankan Coast Guard seized 140 kg heroin from a vessel registered in Iran in July 2019.

India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives signed a tripartite maritime security pact in July 2013 under which they cooperate in monitoring their Exclusive Economic Zones as well as undertake search, rescue and anti-piracy operations. They also share and track information on merchant vessels.