International drug syndicate busted in Chennai, 2 Lankan nationals held

Chennai: Two Sri Lankan nationals who were allegedly a part of an international drug syndicate, were arrested in Chennai Friday.

According to sources, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested MMM Nawaz and Mohamed Afnas who were living in Chennai under false credentials, for their role in smuggling drugs through Indian waters.

The syndicate that operated in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Australia, came under the radar of the drug agency when it had detained a Sri Lankan fishing boat in Indian waters on 26 November, 2020.

95.875 kilograms of heroin and 18.325 kilograms of methamphetamine, were recovered from the boat.

A NCB statement said that the agency was aware of the larger international linkages, especially with those of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. The agency started probing every available thread in the case and soon it was found that two of the main conspirators in the case have been living in Chennai. Both Nawas and Afnas held ‘important positions’ in the multi-national heroin syndicate.

Narcotics officials estimate that the total value of the seized drugs may be Rs 100 crore.

Along with the seizure, the officials apprehended the six-member crew, which reportedly gave information about Nawaz and Afnas, who are the main conspirators.

On the operation, NCB officials have revealed that the goods are usually loaded in fishing boats from Iran and Pakistan and during the sail to mid sea, the transfer to fishing boats from Sri Lanka and Maldives pick them up in the territorial waters of India.


NT Bureau