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Infiltration From Pakistan? Patrolling Officers Confused as Drugs Concealed Under Chinese Tea Brand Wash up on Indian Shores

The lockdown has reportedly witnessed an increase in isolated drums of hash and crystal meth, worth millions of rupees, floating about in Indian seas which has left the law enforcement wondering about its origin

Published: June 23, 2020 4:01 PM IST

By Trending Desk | Edited by Zarafshan Shiraz

Infiltration From Pakistan? Patrolling Officers Confused as Drugs Concealed Under Chinese Tea Brand Wash up on Indian Shores
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An unhinged case has currently engulfed the marine patrolling officers as they intercepted a few bundles of hash, or charas as it is popularly called in India, after it washed up on the Jakhau shores on the Kutch coast of the Western state of Gujarat. The incident took place on June 21 but the law enforcement can’t help wondering where it came from as previous similar incidents of isolated drums of hash and crystal meth, worth millions of rupees, have been seized floating about in Indian seas.

Made from the resins of the cannabis plant, hash is a form of marijuana and in the recent case, the police reportedly counted 183 packets of the drug. A report in Vice claimed the estimated value of these packets to be worth INR 20 million (about $262,995) while the police is yet to trace its source.

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A punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of more than INR 200,000 (about $2,639) is sentenced for trafficking drugs in commercial quantities and a death penalty can also be attracted for repeating the offence, as per India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). Hence marine patrollers have been left stumped as another similar case occured on June 19 when police found 78 kilograms of crystal meth inside a drum spotted by fishermen, floating off the coast of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu.

In its crystallised form, methamphetamine was typically concealed under Chinese tea brand labels. It is being assumed that this was done to presumably pass off as a consignment of tea. In the international drug market, one kilogram of crystal meth can go for over INR 30 million ($394,500), as per the Narcotics Intelligence Bureau Crime Investigation Department (NIB-CID).

Another fishy incident occured three weeks ago where 11.4 kilograms of drugs including meth, ecstasy, heroin and opium were seized by Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram police. These were reportedly being smuggled into Sri Lanka and on May 20, police encountered an abandoned shipment of hash on the Shekhran Peer island on the Kutch coast.


The last month’s incident is being considered by the police as a possible infiltration from Pakistan.

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