KARACHI - The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) claimed on Tuesday to have foiled a bid to smuggle high quality narcotics and arrested a dozen facilitators of an international gang of narcotics smugglers.

The PMSA got information from its own intelligence sources and the intelligence of the Pakistan Customs that high quality narcotics in the form of white crystal would be smuggled through the international sea route, the PMSA spokesperson said. Based on this information, the PMSA deployed its ships and Fast Response Boats in the Western Maritime Region. “On the night of December 18, PMSA and Fast Response Boats spotted a suspicious boat at the Western International Maritime Boundary Line.

The chase continued for a few hours and smugglers made every effort to escape,” the spokesperson said.

However, PMSA personnel intercepted the boat and made it to stop. When the boarding team of the PMSA searched the boat, it found more than 100 kilograms of white crystal in secret compartments of the boat, said the spokesperson. “The international market value of these narcotics is Rs1,000 million. This consignment was destined for the US and European markets through East Africa where crystal drug is in great demand,” he said. Twelve smugglers were apprehended. The narcotics and smugglers were handed over to the Customs Intelligence at the PMSA Headquarters on December 20.

Crystal (methamphetamine) is an illegal drug, which is extremely addictive and dangerous. It first acts as a stimulant and then systematically destroys the human body. This drug causes serious health issues like memory loss, aggression and psychotic behaviour. It also damages heart and brain.

The PMSA spokesperson said that PMSA and Customs intelligence agencies had been able to achieve this success through their close coordination. At a meeting of senior officials of the PMSA and Customs it was decided that the two federal agencies would make joint efforts to rid the coastal areas and maritime zones of Pakistan of narcotics smuggling. The initial investigation has been completed and the international network of narcotics smugglers will be unearthed soon, the spokesperson said.

This was the third seizure of narcotics by the PMSA in the last three months. The PMSA has increased its presence in the Makran Coastal areas to ensure a crime-free maritime environment in the area, which is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said.