In connection with a case of smuggling of weapons and contraband drugs from Pakistan through Gujarat, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed charges against 13 Pakistani nationals. The chargesheet was officially submitted to the NIA Special Court in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
The case dates back to 2022.
According to the officials, the intention of financing terrorist operations within India was associated with the case.
Law enforcement authorities successfully arrested 10 out of the 13 accused back in December 2022.
The list includes names of 13 people, out of which 10 were arrested while three more accused Pakistani nationals are still at large.
The fugitives were identified as Hazi Salim, Akbar, and Karim Baksh.
All about the case
In December last year, the arrests were made after a substantial quantity of drugs and arms, concealed within gas cylinders, was discovered on a Pakistani fishing boat.
As per media reports, the seized items included 40 kilograms of heroin, six foreign-made pistols, six magazines, 120 live 9mm cartridges, Pakistani identity cards, mobile phones, and Pakistani currency.
According to the NIA's investigation, the arrested individuals collaborated with Hazi Salim, Akbar, and Karim Baksh to smuggle a shipment of sophisticated imported weapons into India and their ultimate aim was to deliver these weapons to Harun, an accused individual based in India who is currently evading law enforcement agencies.
As per the conspiracy, Harun intended to use illegally smuggled weapons and contraband to finance various terrorist outfits and criminal gangs operating in Punjab and North India.
Initially, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Gujarat acted upon getting credible information about a Pakistani drug lord named Hazi Salim, who was attempting to smuggle large quantities of contraband drugs and illegal weapons through the Okha shore from Pakistan.
The ATS received a tip-off that the said consignment would enter Indian waters around the 27th or 28th of December 2022, near the Okha Jetty, aboard a fishing boat called "Al-Soheli."
Following the information, ATS alerted the Okha Coast Guard, leading to a joint operation that resulted in the seizure of the boat.
Considering the case's implications for national security and its international connections, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, decided to transfer the case to the National Investigation Agency on March 6, 2023.
Subsequently, the NIA registered the case under various sections of the NDPS Act, 1985, the Arms Act, 1959, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.