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Suspicious ship dumped arms off Mumbai coast?

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 10:38

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: A Denmark-flagged ship that was detained off the Mumbai coast is said to have been carrying sophisticated firearms and ammunitions, which the crew dumped into the sea when chased by the Indian Coast Guard, reports said Wednesday.

During questioning, the crew of MV Danica Sunrise told the security sleuths that they were carrying firearms like AK-47 assault rifles and ship sinking pistols on-board but the entire cache was dumped in the sea after being chased by the Coast Guard late Sunday.

A lookout was issued for the ship in view of intelligence inputs that a ship with a cache of arms and ammunitions was sailing towards Mumbai.

The information was vague, so the Coast Guard carried out search on all the vessels off the Mumbai coast, before zeroing-in on Danica Sunrise. The ship is currently anchored near the Gateway of India amid tight security.

A senior Coast Guard officer told a newspaper that the crew members have confessed that they had two AK-47 rifles and two ship drowning pistols when they started sailing from Egypt, they had bought the fire arms from the open market there and they had receipts for the same.

They sailed from Egypt to Kuwait and then sailed towards India where they said they had decided to wait for a few days and get in touch with local agents to see if they could get them any cargo.

A total of 8 crew members, including two former solider of the Royal British Army, were aboard the ship. Importantly, the crew had first denied that they were carrying any arms.

Owing to the sensitivity of the case, sleuths from various central and state security agencies are questioning the men.

Apart from teams from the intelligence agencies, police and maritime security, a team of the elite commando force, the National Security Guards (NSG) with sniffer dogs is also onboard the vessel to carry out checks on the kind of firearms, ammunitions or explosives that were stored on the ship. It is also suspected that some firearms or explosives could still be on the vessel.

First Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 10:38

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