September 9, 2017
by Sarfaraz Shaikh
AHMEDABAD: Two suspected agents of Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), are believed to have been murdered aboard a ship which was attempting to smuggle 1,500kg of pure heroin into India. The ship, Henry, was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) about 150 nautical miles off the Porbandar coast of Gujarat on the night of July 30.Investigations into the seizure of the largest heroin haul in India -estimated to be worth over Rs 6,000 crore -has revealed that the suspected agents, Khaleed Mohammed and Mustufa, had boarded the vessel at Gwadar Port near Baluchistan in Pakistan. The drug consignment had been stashed into the ship at the port. It is believed that the two men were bludgeoned to death with an iron rod near the Gulf of Oman on July 25, and that their bodies were thrown into sea.
The investigating agency, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), has officially written to the Porbandar Police to probe the murders of Khaleed and Mustufa as murder investigation is not in their remit. “We have received the communication from the NCB and have written to them through the DGP’s office,” said a senior Porbandar Police official. “We will start the probe into the murders after taking the custody of the accused.” However, as the probe will require international co-ordination, it may be handed over to some other agency, a top Gujarat Police official said.
According to investigators, after the drug consignment was loaded into secret cavities made in the diesel tank of the ship on July 15, it set sail for Egypt‘s Sharm El Sheikh port. “During the voyage, the captain of the ship -Suprit Tiwari -got in touch with Vishal Yadav of Mumbai and was persuaded to change course and bring the ship to India,” an investigator said. “Suprit decided to double-cross his boss, Syed Ali Moniri, to whom the ship belonged.But first, Suprit had to get rid of the two ISI agents who had got on board to supervise the operation.”
Yadav had promised Rs 50 crore to Suprit for bringing the ship to India. In turn, Suprit had promised crew members Rs 10 lakh each on reaching the destination. “Yadav was to sell the consignment for Rs 200 crore,” an investigator said. Investigators said that on the night of July 25, on Suprit’s order, Khaleed and Mustufa were bludgeoned to death on the deck of the ship.
The ship then changed its course and headed towards India. The ship’s automatic identification system (AIS) was shut down. However, the ship was intercepted. Apart from the crew, investigators have arrested Yadav, Suprit’s brother Surjit, Irfan Sheikh of Mumbai who had arranged to have the ship anchored at the Alang shipbreaking yard on the Gulf of Khambhat, and two others from Bhavnagar district.
See also: List of Drug Traffickers