AHMEDABAD: Fishermen at Jakhau in Kutch were surprised to find packets of a tomato ketchup of international brand washed ashore on Monday. After police investigations, the caramel-like substance turned out to be 10 kg of charas.
Kutch district police officials and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) have so far found 21 kg of charas since August 13. All these were packed in ketchup packs of one kg each and were found within a 60-km stretch between Jakhau and Movani Vandh. Officials believe that the packets had come from the sea and were part of a bigger consignment.
“We found 11 kg of charas on August 13, 26 and September 11. The contraband was found from between Movani Vandh and Limbdi Vandh. The creek area is a bit away from this place. However, it is most likely that the packets might have come from that direction. We are working on two theories – it might have been a part of a consignment that fell in the sea while changing hands or it might have been dropped by a small boat getting the stock while spotted by boats of security agencies. In both conditions, it shows the use of sea route for the transport,” said a senior NCB official involved in the investigation.
Kutch police also discovered 10 packets at the opening of Kori Creek on Monday morning from a small island. “These packets do not have manufacturing date or price tags that can tell us about their origins. The inside pouch has something written in Urdu on it. We believe that the charas is not Indian. The samples will be sent to FSL. The packets might have been printed by the infiltrators themselves,” said a senior official from Kutch police.
NCB officials said similar packets of the same company were found from the coast of Porbandar in 2006. However, the origin of packets is still a mystery for the security agencies. “Traditionally, Gujarat has not been a major consumption centre. It may have been redistributed for other destinations here. These pouches have not been found elsewhere in the country so far,” said an NCB official.