Eight Iranian nationals on board a dhow intercepted by the Seychelles Defence Forces in the nation's waters have been remanded by the Magistrates' Court for 14 days, said the police.
The vessel, with the eight suspects aged between 20 to 42 years old, was detected by a Seychelles Air Force surveillance aircraft during a routine surveillance patrol and was intercepted by the Seychelles Coast Guard patrol ship Etoile on Friday, 7th October. Packets of heroin were found onboard, and they were seized, which some of the vessel's crew tried to throw overboard.
According to the police, the suspects were handed over to them on Saturday after being escorted to Mahe, the main island.
In a press release from State House on Saturday, Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan congratulated the Seychelles Defence Forces for a well-coordinated and successful mission.
Ramkalawan said, "Despite the great risks as well as rough seas, you acted bravely and faced the challenge to complete the operation to intercept the Iranian dhow. As a result, you have destroyed an important consignment of heroin and, in so doing, protect our youth from this poison that is destroying families, relationships, and our nation. I salute your determination."
He reminded the public that the fight against drugs remained a commitment of his government and made a unique appeal to the population of Seychelles to be part of this fight for the country to win so that the citizens could live in a safer environment.
Seychelles has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million square kilometers. It has increased efforts to combat illegal fishing in its waters and illicit drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the ongoing case of the Iranians involved in the biggest drug bust in Seychelles of 130.58 kilograms of cannabis resin will be back in the Supreme Court.
On 7th November 2021, the Iranians were intercepted on a dhow outside Seychelles' Exclusive Economic zone during a joint operation by the Seychelles Coast Guard in collaboration with the Indian and French navies.
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