22 Kg Cocaine Worth Rs 220 Cr Seized From Ship At Paradip Port In Odisha

OB Bureau

Paradip: The Customs Department officials seized about 22 kg cocaine worth a whopping Rs 220 crore , from a container ship, MV Debi, anchored at Paradip Port in Odisha’s Jagatsingpur late on Thursday.

Sources said that the alleged contraband was seized from the ship, which had arrived at Paradip International Cargo Terminal (PICT) of the port from Indonesia’s Gresik port, while being shifted to a Denmark-bound ship, carrying steel plates from Odisha.

A crane operator is said to have first noticed the suspicious packets in the ship and informed the authorities, who then moved in with a dog squad. “At least 22 polythene-covered packets were found attached to the upper side of a crane with magnets. Around 22 kg of high quality cocaine inside them. In the international market, the cost of 1 kg cocaine is at least Rs 10 crore,” a customs source said.

While the seized packets have been sent to a lab for tests, the agency strongly suspect one of the crew members might have tried to smuggle the contraband. A team of Customs officials from Bhubaneswar also left for Paradip on Friday to carry out a detailed investigation. The vessel’s crew, who are from Vietnam, are being questioned and further investigation is underway, the sources added.

This is the first time cocaine has been seized from Paradip Port. Earlier on April 13, 2022, the special task force (STF) of the state Crime Branch seized 202 grams of cocaine worth about Rs 20 lakh from two Rajasthan-based smugglers near Xavier Square in Bhubaneswar.



OB Bureau

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