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3 Iranians Among 5 Arrested Off Gujarat Coast, Satellite Phone, Heroin Seized

3 Iranians Among 5 Arrested Off Gujarat Coast, Satellite Phone, Heroin Seized

They have been charged under provisions of NDPS Act (File)


Five men, including three Iranian nationals, were arrested from Okha town of Gujarat’s Devbhumi Dwarka district allegedly with a satellite phone and 10 grams of heroin, police said on Thursday. While three fishermen from Iran and an Indian named Ashok Kumar Ayappan (37) were on a boat which arrived at Okha coast near the under-construction ‘Signature Bridge’ on Wednesday night, Ashok’s younger brother Anand Kumar Ayappan (35) was on the coast to receive them, an official said.

Tamil Nadu native Ashok, who used to work in Oman, took help of these three Iranian fishermen to reach Gujarat coast as his passport was seized by his sponsor firm and there was no other way to come back to India, Superintendent of Police Nitesh Pandey said.

He identified the three Iranians as Mustafa Baluchi, Jashem Baluchi and Amir Hussain Baluchi, all residents of Bandar Abbas there, and said the five accused have been charged under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, The Passports Act and The Foreigners Act.

Among other things, police found a satellite phone from Ashok and 10 grams of heroin from one of the Iranian sailors, said Pandey.

“Ashok used to work as a mechanical engineer while his brother Anand used to work as an electrical engineer at Muscat city of Oman. Due to a dispute, the sponsor firm at Oman had seized Ashok’s passport, making it impossible for him to come back. As a solution, his Iranian friend suggested he reach Gujarat via the sea route,” said Mr Pandey.

Ashok gave nearly 8,000 Omani Rial to his Iranian friend to arrange a satellite phone, a boat and sailors to help him reach Gujarat, which is the nearest coast in India from the Gulf, as per police.

While Ashok reached Iran from Oman via sea route, his younger brother Anand took a flight a day earlier and landed at Rajkot, and then reached Okha to receive his elder brother.

“Ashok then set sail for Gujarat from Iran with three fishermen. Based on a specific tip off about the movement of an Iranian boat in our waters, we kept a watch near the bridge and nabbed the four as soon as the boat arrived. Anand, who fled from the spot at that time, was nabbed afterwards,” the SP informed.

It was revealed that Ashok was constantly in touch with his Iranian friend with the help of the satellite phone during his journey from Iran to Gujarat, said Mr Pandey. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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