$31M Worth of Meth Washed up on Indian Shores, but It’s Not an Isolated Incident

In just three days, 171.9 lbs of crystal meth and 183 packets of hash were found by the fishermen.
Derya Ozdemir

It looks like drugs washing up on Indian shores is becoming frequent. Most recently, on June 19, a floating drum off the coast of Mamallapuram was spotted by fishermen in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Smelling something fishy, fishermen alerted the police and as a result, it was found that the drum contained 171.9 lbs (78 kg) of crystal methamphetamine inside, The Hindu reports


Preliminary investigation revealed that the crystallized methamphetamine was packed in suspicious small boxes that had the name of a tea brand.

According to the Narcotics Intelligence Bureau Crime Investigation Department, one kilogram of crystal meth can be sold for over $394,500 in the international drug market which makes finding 171.9 lbs (78 kg) of it floating in the sea an exceptional one. 

This case is reportedly being transferred to the Narcotics Intelligence Bureau CID for further investigation; however, this is especially interesting since it isn't an isolated incident. 

183 packets of hash washed up on the shore two days later

On June 21, a similar event occurred, just two days after the reported methamphetamine incident. Bundles of hash washed up on the Jakhau shores on the Kutch district of the Western state of Gujarat.

The evidence showed that there were 183 packets of the drug, having an estimated value of $262,995 in the Indian market, The Vice reports.

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The police have not yet managed to trace its source.

One month earlier, abandoned hash was found

Moreover, on May 20, marine patrollers had found hash abandoned on the Shekhran Peer island on the Kutsch coast, again with a tip-off from fishermen. 25 lbs (11.4 kg) of hash were seized, reportedly, on the way to be smuggled into Sri Lanka.

Why does this happen?

Gujarat seems to be a frequently used route for smugglers.

While it is not clear why such incidents started happening more commonly in the last months amid the COVID-19 — which border security forces have reported a fall in the supply of drugs, — a paper published by India’s Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses states that India’s location makes it particularly exposed to drug smuggling practices.

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