Operation Samudragupt:The Biggest Drug Bust
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Indian Navy, in a joint operation off the Kerala coast, have seized approximately 2,500 kg of methamphetamine valued at about 15,000 crore and originating from Pakistan. This is the largest drug seizure in terms of financial value by any anti-drug enforcement agency in the nation.
- The Director General of NCB started Operation Samudragupt to stop the trafficking of heroin and other drugs in the Indian Ocean region.
- Officers from the Operations Branch of NCB Headquarters participated in the operation, which was led by Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Ops), NCB.
- The operation’s main goal was to gather actionable intelligence that could result in the interdiction of ships transporting illegal drugs.
- The team exchanged information with narcotics law enforcement organisations including DRI and ATS Gujarat as well as intelligence organisations like the Indian Navy’s Intelligence Wing and NTRO.
- To provide useful intelligence, the team also developed a wide range of domestic and foreign assets and used technology interventions.
- When a joint NCB and Indian Navy team discovered 529 kg of hashish, 221 kg of methamphetamine, and 13 kg of heroin in the open water off Gujarat’s coast in February 2022—all coming from Baluchistan and Afghanistan—they declared their operation to have been successful.
- In an operation conducted jointly by NCB and the Indian Navy in October 2022 off the coast of Kerala, the team’s persistent efforts and round-the-clock surveillance resulted in the interception of an Iranian boat. Six Iranian narcotics smugglers were detained in the operation, which resulted in the seizure of 200 kg of high-grade heroin that originated in Afghanistan.
- In two operations carried out by the Sri Lankan Navy in December 2022 and April 2023, respectively, the seizure of 286kg of Heroin and 128kg of Methamphetamine with the arrest of 19 drug traffickers, and the seizure of 4kg of Heroin with the arrest of 5 drug traffickers by the Maldivian Police in March 2023, were all made possible by NCB sharing real-time actionable information generated during Operation Samudragupt.
Golden Crescent :
- Opium is widely produced in the Golden Crescent, a section of South Asia, mainly in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. The Golden Crescent has the following salient features:
- Geographically, the area that includes Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan is referred to as the Golden Crescent.
- The area is known as the “Golden Crescent” because it is one of the primary opium-producing regions in the globe.
- For many years, the region’s opium production has been a significant source of money for both farmers and smugglers.
- Opium production in the area has been connected to an increase in drug abuse and trafficking in many parts of the world.
- Due to continuous hostilities in Afghanistan and disagreements over the border between Iran and Pakistan, the Golden Crescent is also a region of political unrest.
- Through a range of activities, such as drug eradication programmes, alternative livelihood programmes for farmers, and law enforcement efforts, the international community, including the United Nations, has been battling opium production and drug trafficking in the region.
Points To Ponder:
- Off the coast of Kerala, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Indian Navy conducted a joint operation that netted them about 2,500 kg of methamphetamine.
- The drugs were valued at about 15,000 crore, making it the largest drug seizure ever made by an Indian anti-drug enforcement organisation in terms of money.
- The drugs were put into a mother ship from the Makran coast and came from Pakistan.
- A man from the ship who is thought to be of Pakistani descent has been seized, and additional arrests in the case are imminent.
- The seizure is a part of Operation Samudragupt, which seeks to rid the Indian Ocean region of drugs by targeting drug trafficking on ships.
- A highly likely path that the mother ship would pursue was identified as a result of the information gathering and analysis.
- The drug traffickers’ method of operation is to stop the mother ship at a specific location, at which time the crew aboard the ship is informed of the boat to which the drugs are to be discharged.
- There is no information about any boat intended to receive the narcotics because the mother ship itself was intercepted.
- The narcotics, the guy who was seized, and other ship recovered things were transferred to Kochi’s Mattancherry Wharf and given to the NCB for further action.