Mumbai: The Indian Navy has captured a
hijacked Iranian flagged vessel off the Mumbai coast following
intelligence inputs that it may be carrying arms, ammunition
and contraband, officials said today.
The ill-fated vessel `Nafis-I` was intercepted yesterday
and all persons on board have been detained, they said, adding
it is not yet clear as to how many of them were pirates and
Two AK -47 rifles and a pistol concealed in an empty fuel
tank of the ship have been found, they said.
Following intelligence inputs, the vessel was located by
a naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft on August 12 in the
high seas after which it was kept under continuous
Subsequently, INS Mysore, a guided missile destroyer, was
sent to intercept the hijacked vessel along with two
helicopters and 24 marine commandos, the officials said.
The vessel was intercepted approximately 170 nautical
miles, off west Mumbai after the Navy launched its operations.
The vessel is being towed to Porbandar, where the people
on board will be handed over to the police, officials said.
The statements of those onboard have revealed that the
vessel had left from Chah Bahar in Iran and had travelled to
an undisclosed location in July after which it was intercepted
by the Navy in the Arabian waters, they said.