Dar es Salaam, Feb 5: Tanzanian anti-narcotics authorities have intercepted an Iranian vessel carrying 201 kg of heroin with street value of about $5 million and arrested eight Iranians and four Pakistanis in connection with the haul, Xinhua quoted the police as saying Tuesday.
The head of Tanzania’s anti-drugs unit, Godfrey Nzowa, confirmed the seizure of the drugs and the arrest of the suspects, saying police were holding them for questioning.
Nzowa said the vessel was intercepted early Tuesday in the Indian Ocean between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, adding that the drugs were being ferried in a vessel called Aldahial registered in Kunak, Iran.
He said the team that intercepted the vessel comprised members of the anti-drugs unit, marine police, officers from the navy division of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces and the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service.
The official said the seizure of the heroin was part of an operation carried out in collaboration with other law enforcers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states and other countries from around the world.
“As of now we are yet to know the destination of the haul but we are still questioning the suspects so that we establish where the consignment was to be ferried,” he said.
In January this year, a Canadian military ship seized 265 bags of heroin weighing more than 280 kg aboard a vessel in the Indian Ocean.