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Cocaine worth ₹220 crore seized from Indonesian ship at Odisha port, crew detained

Officials in Bhubaneswar have seized cocaine worth 220 crore from a Indonesian ship that docked at Paradip port. Customs officials were notified after a crane operator spotted 22 suspicious packets. The Vietnamese crew has been detained for questioning and officials are conducting a thorough search of the ship with the help of sniffer dogs

“Twenty-two packets were recovered from a crane on the ship. The powder-like substance was confirmed as cocaine after examination using a special kit. The international market price of the seized material would be between 200 crore and 220 crore,” state Commissioner of Customs Madhaab Chandra Mishra told PTI.

The MV Debi had begun its voyage from Egypt and arrived at the Paradip International Cargo Terminal terminal in Jagatsinghpur district on Wednesday night. It was scheduled to depart for Denmark with steel plates.

The packages were first spotted in a crane on the anchored ship – with officials initially under the impression that it was an explosive. 

“But after they scanned the packets, it was revealed that it was drugs concealed in small rectangular packets. We did a preliminary narcotics test, which confirmed the contents to be cocaine. We seized the packets and have sent the sample for further test in a government laboratory,” Mishra told Hindustan Times.

A kg of cocaine is reportedly worth 10 crore in the international market.

As per the official statement all the crew members working onboard the ship are from Vietnam. The ship is registered in Panama and operated by the Asia Pacific Shipping Co. Ltd. 

Officials however said that no individual had been arrested thus far in connection with the case. Further investigation is underway.

 

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 01 Dec 2023, 11:24 PM IST

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