Thiruvananthapuram: Three Sri Lankan fishing boats, carrying unauthorised communication equipment and narcotics, were seized by the Indian Coast Guard off Minicoy, following which a joint and detailed probe has been launched by concerned agencies.

The three boats– Akash Duwa, Chathu Rani 03 and Chathu Rani 08, with 19 men on board, were intercepted by the coast guard ship ‘Varaha’ in the Indian territorial waters about seven nautical miles off Minicoy on March 5, for moving in a suspicious manner.

The coastguard personnel boarded the boats and preliminary inquiry revealed that the occupants had used unauthorised communication equipment and were carrying narcotics, a Defence release said.

The boats have been brought to Vizhinjam here on Sunday for a detailed interrogation by all security agencies concerned, it said.

The captain of one of the seized vessels has confessed to having received 200 kg of heroin and 60 kg of hashish from a Pakistan boat around 400 NM west of Lakshadweep. All these substances were packed in five packets and thrown overboard when the coast guard ship was sighted.

When the Lankan boats noticed the Coast Guard aircraft and ship, the captain of a boat contacted the main operator using Thuraya communication set and they were advised to flee.

But, the skipper reported that as it was not possible and they threw the Thuraya communication set and all bags into the water, the release added.

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