Friday, June 26, 2015

Indian Coast Guard Intercept Suspected Vessel, Off Gujarat, Recover Contraband

On 18 Jun 15, an intelligence input was received through ICG Station at Okha about movement of a suspicious dhow MSV Safina Al Meraj (BDI-1331). The dhow was reported to have left Sharjah and was to arrive Salaya, Jamnagar on 19/20 Jun with suspected contraband onboard.

On receipt of information, ICG units in the Gulf of Kachchh Region were alerted and continued sea presence, despite adverse weather conditions, was maintained. On the night of 18/19/20 Jun, a number of dhows entering Gulf of Kachchh were boarded and investigated. Considering the sensitivity, the co-ordination for the operation was centralized at the Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (North-West), Gandhinagar. VTS Gulf of Kachchh and other stakeholders were informed and actions were duly coordinated.

Notwithstanding the development of cyclonic depression, ICG ships continued for the lookout for the suspected vessel. On the early morning of 25 Jun at about 0630 hrs, ICG Ship Sangram, which was on patrol, intercepted the suspected dhow.

On boarding and initial investigation, it was revealed that the dhow had sustained some damage and there was continuous ingress of water. From the safety point, the dhow was thus escorted to Salaya harbour. In the meantime, a joint ICG team from Okha and Vadinar was dispatched for Salaya to augment and fasten the initial rummaging ashore. 

The joint rummaging involving the intelligence and law enforcement agencies at Salaya has been carried out todate, 25 Jun 15. During the process following contraband have been recovered:

          (a)     02 Cartons of Davidoff (Each containing 10,000 cigarettes)

          (b)     50 Cartons of Gudang Garam (Each containing 14,400 


          (c )    Two Thuraya Sets

The master of Dhow is Mr Asan Ibrahim Subaniya and there are 09 crew onboard. Further rummaging is in progress. It is planned to handover the vessel to DRI at Salaya, Gujarat for further investigation process.

The operation once again has brought to the fore the effectiveness and efficacy of the joint mechanism in place and the ability of the ICG to coordinate the efforts of the agencies concerned towards successful interdiction and providing security as desired. 

A few of the photographs of the boarding operation and interdiction are attached/ enclosed. 

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