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‘India, SL, Maldives to collectively deal with ISIS-Taliban drug network’

India, Sri Lanka and Maldives will collectively deal with drug trade facilitated by the ISIS and Taliban based on actionable intelligence, Indian Navy chief, Admiral Karambir Singh said on Monday.

In his speech at the opening ceremony of the Goa Maritime Conclave, he also said that since funding of the ISIS and Taliban had stopped, both extremist groups were generating income through drug trade.

“The ISIS and the Taliban, since a lot of funding has stopped, most of their income is through drugs trade.

“This drug trade moves from the Makran coast, heads to the east coast of Africa, then moves east through all the Island territories which are basically tourism oriented economies, comes to Sri Lanka, to India and of course goes out to the world. We are, for example Maldives, Sri Lanka and us, we are going to have focussed operations where we will deal with these as soon as the intelligence comes,” he said.

Admiral Singh also said that there was a need to develop collective maritime competence among the navies of the Indian Ocean region.

“Second thing we are trying to do is collective maritime competence. Each country has either geographical location, knowledge of certain operations, technology, manpower, so in this region we want to build collective maritime competence. We are also trying to increase the capability — capability means training. For eg. Sri Lanka has very good know-how on how to handle — they are the only ones who have successfully handled a large terrorist outfit,” he said.

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