The projects relate to sectors such as oil and gas, railways, road, transport & highways and atomic energy.
Customs officials probing the seizure of cocaine worth over Rs 220 crore from a Denmark-bound cargo ship at Paradip Port on 1 December are in a tizzy as the investigators are finding it tough to elicit vital international drug cartel links in the case because of the language barrier.
22 crew members of the ship, who are all from Vietnam, have been detained and are being quizzed to ascertain the source of the banned drug seized from the vessel for the last four days. However, no concrete progress could be made by the investigating officials as the crews now under Customs’ custody speak Vietnamese only.
They are not well-versed in any other language including English. That’s why we have sought the services of interpreters, who could speak and understand the spoken language of the detained crew members, confided senior officials of Customs.
All the crew members working onboard the ship are from Vietnam. The ship is registered in Panama and is operated by the Asia Pacific Shipping Co. Ltd. The suspected ship is having its last port of call from Gresik Port, Indonesia and destined to Denmark.
Based on intelligence that suspected narcotics drugs packets are concealed in a Panama registered Ship, namely, MV Debi berthed at Paradip International Cargo Terminal, Paradip that had arrived from Gresik port, Indonesia in ballast, the Customs officers of the Bhubaneswar Customs (preventive) Commissionerate searched the ship on midnight of 30 November and on 1 December.
During the search, a total of 22 packets (wrapped and affixed with magnet) were recovered from the cranes of the ship containing a hardened but brittle white substance suspected to be narcotic drugs. Initial testing by the Special Intelligence and Investigation (SIIB) team of the Bhubaneswar Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate revealed that the substance is Cocaine, a narcotic drug under the NDPS Act 1985. A total of 22 kg of such drugs valued at around Rs. 220 core in the international grey market was recovered.
This was the first case of seizure of cocaine or any other banned drug substances under NDPS Act in Paradip port. Unlike cannabis and brown sugar which are prepared from opium, cocaine is not produced in India. Cocaine is produced from Coca plant which is a native species of South America. It is mainly produced in Latin American countries like Colombia, Peru and Bolivia and consumed mainly in the United States of America and Europe.