Multiple Agencies Intensify Probe Into Rs 220 Cr Cocaine Seizure From Ship At Odisha’s Paradip Port

OB Bureau

Paradip: A day after cocaine worth Rs 220 crore was seized from a ship at Odisha’s Paradip port, Customs Department, Narcotics Control Bureau from Bhubaneswar and Odisha Police on Saturday intensified investigation to track the source and the consignee to whom it was supposed to be delivered.

While the entire ship was thoroughly searched by the IB and the Customs with the help of sniffer dogs of Odisha police, the agencies presume that one of the crew members might have tried to smuggle the contraband. Since the ship was not supposed to halt at any other Indian port, it is being suspected that the consignment was to be delivered abroad. “It seems the drug was not meant for supply in the Indian market,” a source in the Customs Department said.

The captain and the crew members of the cargo ship are being questioned by the probe agencies at an undisclosed location. The agencies are also trying to ascertain any Odisha link in this major drug haul in recent years in the state, the source added.

There are also reports that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) may also join the probe.

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

Twenty-two suspicious packets were spotted in a crane on the ship anchored at Paradip International Cargo Terminal (PICT) on Thursday night. Suspecting it to be some kind of explosive, the crane operator informed the authorities, who came with a dog squad, raided the ship and seized the packets. Preliminary narcotics test confirmed the contents to be cocaine.

In a statement, the Customs Commissionerate earlier said that they searched the ship around midnight acting on intelligence inputs and found the cocaine packets.

The Panama-registered cargo ship, named MV Debi, began its voyage from Egypt and arrived to India via the Gresik port in Indonesia. It was scheduled to depart for Denmark with steel plates from India. All the crew members are from Vietnam, officials said, adding that the ship was operated by Asia Pacific Shipping Co Ltd.


OB Bureau

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